I’ve always been a summer girl. It’s not cozy like fall, alive like winter, or hopeful like spring. Summer stands out as a bright and energizing time of year when happiness is a juicy bite of watermelon dripping down your chin and vertigo is achieved in a single cannonball from the diving board. The nights drag on, until golden hour, when even the lighting bugs turn on their electric charm. And everything in the world feels better when it is bathed in the sun. So you can imagine my joy when I was commissioned to write a list of how to celebrate the summer solstice.
One of my favorites summer people is my mother in law. A woman named Margaret who, at some point along the way, started calling herself “Marguerite” because she felt her personality was better described. (The name Marguerite means wild french daisymuch more his style). As the matriarch of the family, she encouraged her offspring to find balance and peace by being creative and colorful people outside the lines, despite being rooted in a suburban San Antonio neighborhood. Instead of playing tennis and young children at the club, as was the general trend at the time, he spent his days gardening and meditating. When most families gathered each December for the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, Marguerite led the charge for friends and family to don their most festive silver and gold accessories and dance in the moonlight to honor and celebrate the Winter Solstice. In the warmer months, it was Mayos, wreaths, magic spells, and summer celebrations. It was magical and memorable and it taught me a new way of approaching the world. With open-hearted exuberance and childish flamboyance.
Years later, my beautiful mother-in-law suffers from a rare and debilitating brain disease. Now more than ever, I find myself leaning on the memories of those traditions that she brought into my life. In honor of her precious and inspiring spirit, I began looking to incorporate some of her incredibly wonderful shapes into my own self family of five.
Read on to learn what the summer solstice is, why it is celebrated, and some ideas that you can incorporate into your own holidays, too.
What is the summer solstice?
During the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, the earth’s axis leans farther towards the sun, offering the longest day of the year (think: more sunlight!) And the shortest night and it always occurs at the end of June. . This year, the summer solstice is Sunday, June 20, thus beginning the astronomical beginning of summer.
And why do we celebrate it?
People have recognized the winter and summer solstices since Neolithic days, according to Museum of Saint Neot, to celebrate the start of the sowing and harvesting season. The summer solstice was adopted from the beginning by the pagans to glorify the Sun God. Decorated with garlands of herbs and flowers, the pagans believed that they protected evil spirits (since the pagans believed that during the summer was when evil spirits roamed the earth). Today, the celebrations continue and the holiday commemorates a new life, light, renewal, fertility and abundance (both inside and outside our harvest and our environment).
How is the summer solstice celebrated around the world?
In England, people gather to watch the sunrise over the Heel Stone in Stonehenge. I.n the Nordic countries of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland, celebrate with their Summer festivals, each with their own unique traditions (Swedes decorate their hair with flowers and dance around Maypoles while Finns light bonfires and soak in saunas). Meanwhile, just 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle in Fairbanks, Alaska, they celebrate each summer solstice with a baseball game in the midnight sun and festival.
You want to create your own festival without traveling to the ends of the earth? Read on for some of our ideas for celebrating the longest day of the year!
- Go for a walk. Get off the beaten track, lace up your hiking boots, and prepare to break a sweat. There is no better way to celebrate the summer solstice than (a no music or podcasts) Walk through mother nature, allowing the only noise to be the sound of the earth crunching under your feet.
- Enjoy the glory of the sun. Get out there and let your skin absorb some Vitamin D. And if you’re out for more than a few minutes, here’s our Rounding of all our favorite mineral and chemical sunscreens.
- Break up the lawn games. Pickleball or petanque, someone?
- Stargaze. Spread a blanket in your backyard and look at the stars. Does too much light from the city make it difficult to see the Milky Way? Try to get out of the city limits a bit – the less city light, the better the stargazing.
- Channel your bohemian spirit. Design a DIY floral wreath!
- Make a sun chaser. Go to your local bead shop and hang up your maid creation in a window, allowing the beads to gently deflect light into your home.
- Build a Litha Altar. Don’t have the symbols of the sun and yellow candles at hand? This Etsy kit it is a one stop shop.
- Be a goddess of the sun. Grab some ribbon, twine, twigs, and sage, and try your hand at a sun wheel.
- Go pick berries. Find a local farm outside the city limits and enjoy a day strolling through trees and vines.
- Set up the camp. Find the perfect tent, collect some wood to build a bonfire, and head to the hills. (Splurge: opt for this glamping domeand keep it that way in your backyard all year long).
- Take a dip at night. Don’t have a pool? Find a neighborhood pool to swim under the moonlight. (Do you live in Austin? We are in favor that the full moon swims in Barton springs.)
- Try paddleboard yoga. In true midsummer fashion, SUP yoga takes you outside celebrating the great outdoors, it’s a great exercise for your body and balance, and it’s just plain fun.
- Host an outdoor party. Here are our picks to get the best plates, napkins and decorative accents for your outdoor dinner.
- Picnic in the park. package a blanket and gather some chopped broccoli salad and watermelon skewers.
- Host a blind ice cream tasting party. Rank your favorites and let the delicious fun begin.
- Grow your own food. No space outside? From tomatoes to thyme, consider this vertical garden inspiration for hydroponic, non-GMO, organic vegetables grown indoors.
- To meditate. It is as simple as inhale and exhale.
- Get to land. Yes, it is buzzing, but for good reason. Grounding is a new fashion tradition with ancient roots. It reduces stress and inflammation, neutralizes free radicals, improves sleep, and is said to help tone and brighten the skin.
- Set intentions. Thinking goal setting was for January only? Think again. Honor the celebration of the new beginnings of Midsummer by turning in some new leaves of your own.
- Start something new. The summer solstice is all about new beginnings, so now is the perfect time to try learning more about the types of enneagrams or take a nature journal.