ErinEarth is well into its preparations for the upcoming Winter Lantern Festival to celebrate the long, chilly nights.
The festival will be on Saturday, 1 July, from 4 pm to 8 pm at ErinEarth’s garden.
ErinEarth administration and communications officer Michelle Burton said the community was invited to enjoy nature by the lantern light and experience the wonders of the universe and night sky.
“We’re excited to be holding our first evening festival with this new lighting in the garden,” Michelle said.
“We’re celebrating the long nights with our winter festival.”
Michelle thanked the Community Building Partnership (CBP) program for providing the grant to make the lantern festival possible.
The event includes star gazing, camp oven meals, hot drinks, soup, campfires, lantern making, nature-based storytelling with Wagga Wagga City Library in the cosy mud hut, and live music by Nathan Lamont and Felix Machiridza.
People will also be able to discover and journey through space and time with astronomer and aerospace engineer Graeme Wren.
Michelle said volunteers were busy preparing for the festival by cleaning up the garden and making the lanterns out of milk cartons.
She said the lantern had always been a strong symbol for ErinEarth.
“The lantern is symbolic, shining a light on the needs of the time, particularly on ecological and social justice issues,” she said.
“ErinEarth was initiated by two Presentation Sisters, and the founder of the Presentation Sisters, Irishwoman Nano Nagle, was known as the ‘Lady of the Lantern’.
“Nano carried her lantern through the dark streets of Cork city, in Ireland, bringing food, comfort and companionship to the sick, the elderly and the marginalised.”
Michelle said the ErinEarth community drew inspiration from Nano shining a light on the social justice needs of her time by shining a light on the ecological needs of today, especially to care for the environment and for each other, to support a sustainable society.
“The lantern, for us, also symbolises hope for environmental restoration and rejuvenation, as well as for social equity and equality,” she said.
This year the sustainable living education centre and volunteering community celebrated its 25th anniversary and recently received the 2023 NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year Award.
The Winter Lantern Festival will be held on Saturday, 1 July, from 4 pm to 8 pm at ErinEarth, 1 Kildare Street, Turvey Park.
Entry is free.