Humphrey previously criticised the committee's use of the stone henge in its publicity materialPixabay

Trinity Hall’s June Event committee has responded to accusations of Pagan misrepresentation by a student who claimed that their event theme, ‘Solstice’, is a ‘gross’ misuse of Wiccan beliefs in a Facebook post on Monday.

A spokesperson for the committee noted that while its members are “eminently mindful” of the diverse range of backgrounds and religious traditions of their guests, their theme, rather than being explicitly linked to pagan or Wiccan beliefs, “is a celebration of an astronomical phenomenon which has been recognised and celebrated for several millennia across nearly all cultures and continents.”


Mountain View

Student accuses Trinity Hall June Event of misrepresenting Pagan beliefs

In a statement from the Pagan Federation, Prudence Jones, the organisation’s Inter-Faith Liaison Officer, said that while “religious symbolism [...] must be respected”, she believes the solstice is an “astronomical event that anyone can celebrate, and the midsummer solstice has been a time of festivities for thousands of years throughout Northern Europe.” 

While Jones suggested that “[making] fun of white-robed Druids, or imagining some lurid human sacrifice at sunrise” would constitute “religious defamation”, she said that “if people want to enjoy the strangeness of the long hours of daylight, or to take part in the folklore traditions associated with this day, then feel free to come a little bit closer to understanding what makes the midsummer solstice one of the major dates in the year when Pagans ceremonially honour their gods.”

Two years ago, the Trinity Hall June Event was forced to drop its ‘Tokyo to Kyoto’ theme following backlash over the appropriation of Japanese culture, eventually rebranding the event as ‘Metropolis’