Nude Solstice Swim

In some parts of the world, it is customary to plunge naked into the icy water on the winter solstice to welcome back the light after the longest night. The Museum of Old and New Art’s winter festival Dark Mofo is perpetuating that custom here in Hobart, too.

Art Festival previously on at Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania, Australia.
From Monday 22 June 2015 to Monday 22 June 2015

Nude Solstice Swim image

Published by Museum of Old and New Art on Monday 22 June 2015.
Contact the publisher.

After the longest, darkest night in Australia, the sun rose again over Hobart on Monday 22 June at 7.42am as 752 naked people bravely plunged into the 11 degrees celsius waters of the River Derwent. With frost on the ground, a biting air temperature of one degree and an apparent temperature of minus-five degrees celsius, swimmers may have been warmer in the water, than out.

The Dark Mofo Nude Solstice Swim has grown from 230 participants in its first year, to more than 750 in this – its third year.

The annual Nude Solstice Swim was initiated as a modern-day pilgrimage unique to Hobart, Australia’s southernmost capital city, evoking ancient ceremonialism in a contemporary art festival. It’s a bracing start to a new year.

With help from Surf Lifesaving Tasmania and Tasmania Police to ensure participant safety, this 18+ participatory event is not a spectator sport. It is a genuine celebration – a symbolic purification – to signify a turning back towards the light as the shadows of Dark Mofo wane for another year.