Another weekend in Tasmania, another festival. At this weekend’s Mid Winter Festival there were lots of fires to keep everyone warm.
Live music, local food and drink, story telling, Morris dancing, wassailing, a burning man and a bonfire were all part of the festival.
And a very funky piano.
Tasmania is enjoying the annual celebration of song, music, spoken word.
A highlight of the festival is the Big Sing & Bonfire. An open air, free family event, a fun sing-a-long, attended by a few thousand people.
A selection of choirs and singers led the crowd in a variety of well known songs, from “Over the rainbow” to David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.
As well as formal, organised concerts covering multiple music genres, there are also pop-up events around the city.
Another fascinating event was a walking tour, led by this actress, who shared some of Hobart’s history through the eyes and colourful lives of early female convicts.
“The Founding Fathers may have found things but it was the Founding Mothers who filled this place with life, culture and made a lot of money.”
One of the features of DARK MOFO is the Ogoh Ogoh.
It is a demon like sculpture, common in Balinese Hinduism. People write down their fears, and feed them to the ogoh ogoh. At the end of the festival, the ogoh ogoh is paraded along the street and cremated in ceremonial smoke, fire and noise.
It has taken me a couple of years to get used to this idea, but right now, with everything going on in the world, it felt right to put my fears on paper, give them to this stunning sculpture based on the extinct Tasmanian Tiger, the Thylacine, and watch them go up in flames.
This evening, we joined the parade and “the burning”.
Although it originates from a very different culture and religion to my own, it felt remarkably calming and therapeutic to be a part of this ceremony.
Hobart’s winter festival is in full swing with a two week programme of art and music at numerous venues around the city.
Lasers, lights, live music, food vans and bars.
STREET ART and PERFORMANCE ART
Animation projected onto our “Save the Tasmanian Devil” mural.
Students from the Art College engage with the public.
A banquet of local Tasmania produce and dishes, on offer from a variety of vendors, guest chefs and favourite restaurants, vineyards, distillers. Great food and atmosphere both inside the wharf building and outside with the fire pits.
It has been great to see so many people out, enjoying the festival. All generations, locals and tourists. And the weather has been perfect, dry mild winter nights.
These extensive dolomite caves in southern Tasmania, were discovered one hundred years ago.
The caves are open to the public, although off the beaten track. We joined a tour that lasted forty five minutes and took us through several chambers.
It is a spectacular space, with stunning stalactites and stalagmites, columns, curtains.
My photos do not do justice to scale or beauty of these caves.
A local vineyard held their bi-annual duck race today. Plastic ducks were sold in aid of three cancer charities – pink ducks for breast cancer, blue ducks for prostate cancer and yellow ducks for childhood cancers.Almost 1,200 ducks were put into the pond. They needed a bit of help from the local firemen, a human sized duck and some cheering by spectators, to actually get to the finish line.The resident ducks stayed across the pond or wandered amongst the vines. It was a fun afternoon in a beautiful location, with $12,000 raised for charity.