Midwinter celebrations

Dinner table set with balloons and flags in the background.
Midwinter dinner table set and waiting for guests (Photo: Lionel W)

One of the biggest events in the Antarctic calendar is midwinter, around 21 June, which celebrates the halfway point in the long polar night.

It is a tradition that goes back to the earliest Antarctic expeditions and is celebrated with a special midwinter dinner featuring an elaborate menu, followed by performances and often a fancy dress party.

Invitations to the midwinter dinner are sent to family and friends, and often to celebrities or well-known sporting or political figures (though it is impossible for them to get to Antarctica in the middle of winter).

  • Show students a copy of the midwinter invitation [PDF] and ask them to write some imaginative RSVPs from celebrities.
  • Ask students to design their own midwinter menu.
  • Divide students into groups and have them rehearse an item for performance at a midwinter dinner.
This page was last modified on January 23, 2014.