Friday, June 21 marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere with the sun rising around 5:30 am and setting just after 9 pm. “Solstice” is derived from the Latin words “sol” meaning sun and “sistere”, meaning to stand still as the sun’s path appears to momentarily stop on this day.
The summer solstice has different meanings for different cultures. Northern Europeans refer to this sacred day as Midsummer while pagan groups call it Litha. Ancient folklore holds belief that evil spirits would appear on the summer solstice so people would wear protective garlands made of herbs and flowers to ward them off.
Today, celebrations continue to take place in various regions including the iconic ceremony held at Stonehenge. Built around 2500 BCE, Stonehenge lines up perfectly with both the summer and winter solstices.
So, how can you make the most of the summer solstice? While some of the rituals taking place across the world are pretty cool, you can honour this day from the comfort of your own home. Here’s how:
Celebrate the light.
As the longest day of the year and the shortest night, take advantage of the sunlight and spend as much time outside as you can. Invite some family and friends over for an outdoor BBQ and tune into nature.
Greet the sun.
Practice a sun salutation and provide your body with amazing movement and an overall good stretch. If you’re feeling super motivated try for a sunrise practice. Watching the sunrise is a powerful reminder of nature’s cycles.
The seasons are shifting, we leave spring behind and prepare ourselves for summer. This shift is an opportunity for renewal and birthing new, fresh ideas.
Tell us how you plan on celebrating the summer solstice this year!