19 June, 2020 News stories

British Antarctic Survey are this Sunday (21 June) celebrating Midwinter’s Day in Antarctica. In a tradition which began more than one hundred years ago with Captain Scott, the event marks the shortest, darkest day of the year.

Forty-one BAS scientists and support staff are wintering at Bird Island, King Edward Point and Rothera stations in Antarctica. The day will begin with a breakfast cooked by station leaders, followed by exchange of handmade gifts and then preparations for a Midwinter Feast. The teams also have activities planned such as Crazy Golf, afternoon tea and Winter Olympics. Another tradition for BAS winterers is watching the Antarctic thriller ‘The Thing’ on Midwinter’s Eve.

An essential and much-loved part of Midwinter’s Day is the BBC World Service Midwinter Broadcast, presented by singer and BBC radio presenter Cerys Mathews, which includes messages from the winterers’ friends, families, and colleagues.

BAS Director Professor Dame Jane Francis said:

“I want to say a huge thank you to our 41 friends and colleagues spending the winter down South. The work you are doing is critical in helping us understand what happens on that amazing continent, and how it’s affecting us all across the planet.”

You can listen to this year’s Midwinter Broadcast here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct0vz4

If you would like to tweet greetings to those working in Antarctica please use #BASmidwinter.