Today is winter solstice in New Zealand, the shortest day of the year.
I remember this day as a child, helping to plant the garlic and my mother always lighting a candle and leaving it to burn overnight (not particularly fire safe now I think back on it).
We are only just at the start of winter, but from here every day gets a little lighter. Today we had 9 hours and 37 minute of daylight, it will start slowly with less than 30 seconds gained everyday, but we will gain more everyday, and by August we will be gaining over 2 minutes a day and i will be able to get home and walk the dog in daylight.
Matariki, the traditional Maori New Year starts in a week. It seems appropriate to start the year at the darkest time of the year.
Daylight hours sourced from: http://www.timeanddate.com/sun