Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival
Every year when winter solstice comes around people from all walks of life come together to let loose and get a little bit freaky in the town of Katoomba. The main street is cleared for a morning parade and then afterwards filled by stalls, musicians, magicians and a variety of colourful characters as well as innocent onlookers finding adequate enjoyment in the spectacle alone. You know its Winter Magic time when you glance down an alleyway and see a tatted-up-forty-plus-half-dreaded-head DJ busting out some brutal Dubstep beats, and then you look a bit closer and notice the gathering of dancers consists of anything from toddlers in fairy costumes, to hippies in rainbow coloured rags, to pugs in pyjamas, or even John the flamboyant flamingo who seems to have spent a little too much time in the Chai Relaxation Good Vibes tent.
Apart from pop-up alleyway Dubstep parties, you can expect to see just about anything on Winter Magic. From suspicious people in complete body animal suits to pirates with legitimate talking parrots, you could quite easily spend your entire day talking to these characters.
The chilled and relaxed nature of the day gives people a platform from where they can momentarily forget about the restrictions of social norms and instead embrace each other’s peculiarities. While Winter Magic is a fun event that would surely tickle the fancy of any open-minded individual, it does also reflect some pretty cool and interesting aspects of the culture that exists in the Blue Mountains. There is something distinctly different about the Blue Mountains folk, it’s difficult to pinpoint, but perhaps it can be most accurately understood by the annual custom of clothing lampposts and other street poles in lovely hand-knitted jumpers for the winter months.
By Caius Don-Pounder
Photography by Dan Knott