When the sun stays still in the middle of June, people usually gather to celebrate this fascinating event— the Summer Solstice. It’s an annual occasion that marks the longest day and the shortest night in the Northern Hemisphere.
On the other hand, those who live in the Southern Hemisphere usually experience this phenomenon in December.
Originally, the term solstice is from two Latin words, sol (sun) and stitium (stopped), which is the best description for the way the Earth tilts at the maximum level making it a bit closer to the sun.
In this article, we’ll discuss the traditional and modern ways in which the Summer Solstice is celebrated.
Ancient cultures, including the Romans, Egyptians, and Druids, attached deep cultural and spiritual significance to this event. Some celebrations include honouring gods like Ra (Egyptian sun god), Vesta (Roman goddess of hearth), and Cronus (Greek god).
In celebrating the Summer Solstice, the Druids started doing rituals, bonfires, and dances. In the meantime, the Greeks pause their social code, and the servants celebrate with their masters as equals.
But aside from the mentioned ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice, there are many others.
Although many ancient rituals are no longer included in modern celebrations, the Summer Solstice still holds a special place in different cultures worldwide. Furthermore, even though there were festivities that have faded through the years, there are some traditions that remain the same.
If you want to know the modern traditions of celebrating the Summer Solstice, you should check the list below!
1. Midsummer Festivals
Have you already seen the film Midsommar (2019)? Don’t worry, it’s not the same as the film, but Midsummer festivals in Europe include vibrant colours, traditional dances, gatherings, music, and floral garlands.
The eerie part of the film isn’t the same as what you can expect in the actual Swedish celebration, but the activities are pretty much the same. The celebration also includes the locals’ wish to have bountiful harvests to come and fertility.
During Midsummer’s Eve, many people stay to welcome the sun as it rises. Usually, they still have various activities while waiting for the sun to shine.
Meanwhile, if you want to start celebrating the Summer Solstice as colourful as them, you can organise, hire event planners, and invite your friends.
2. Bonfires and Fire Festivals
Since the sun is called a big ball of fire, celebrating the Summer Solstice always comes with bonfires and fire festivals. Although the sun doesn’t burn since there’s no oxygen in space, and it’s made of a huge nuclear furnace, has been its nickname ever since.
Having bonfires in celebration of the Summer Solstice honours the strength of the sun and is a way to ward off evil spirits. In addition, aside from the bonfire itself, other various activities come with admiring the longest daytime.
However, nowadays, there are only specific places where you can have bonfires. And if you find a place that does allow it, ensure to follow the rules and regulations of the locals.
3. Yoga and Meditation
Have you noticed that the Summer Solstice also comes with being serene and meditating? Another way to celebrate the sun’s energy is to have a retreat, meditate, and do yoga. During this time of the year, various yoga instructors and spiritual seekers come together and embrace the light within.
It’s a great way to get to know one’s self and set life goals. So if you want to experience serenity and peace, you should look for a place that celebrates the Summer Solstice, as mentioned.
4. Nature Retreats and Outdoor Activities
Similar to yoga and meditation, other ways to celebrate include nature retreats and outdoor activities. You can either join a group or organise a retreat with your family and friends. It’s when you can embrace the benefits of nature and appreciate the beauty of the natural world.
In addition, another good thing about this is that you can do this whatever your beliefs are. Since it mostly focuses on nature, there is no underlying meaning behind this kind of celebration. Besides, the Summer Solstice is about the wonder of the Earth and Sun, so celebrating through nature should be a given.
The Summer Solstice is proof that humans appreciate connecting with nature and all its creations ever since. Although ancient traditions are now mixed with modern festivities, people are still celebrating the same event as before.
Besides, it’s great how the celebrations adapt to the current situations, while the Summer Solstice remains important. And hopefully, it won’t be forgotten in the years that will come.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aliana Baraquio is a content writer for Pink Caviar Events Sydney, a full-service event management and decorative hire company located in Sydney.