Summer solstice celebrations
With the plants in full bloom, welcomed warmth, and the long, light evenings, it can only mean that summer solstice is upon us.
The longest day of the year, the sun reaching its zenith in the sky. Solstice translates to ‘sun stands still’ and stone circles such as Stonehenge were set in a manner that would highlight the rising of the sun on summer solstice. Folklore tells us that long ago, hilltop bonfires were lit, honouring the space between earth and the heavens, land and sky. It was also believed to be a time when the veil between this world and the next is at its very thinnest. For pagans today, solstice is about brightness and an inner power.
It’s a time to celebrate being outdoors, the sun’s long and golden summer rays, drenching the land in light and warming the earth, encouraging its growth. All very A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream. Watch out for those fairies causing mayhem in the forests.
- Feast: Now’s the time to feast on the land’s bounty of fruit and vegetables. Create salads, platters and bowls filled with colour. Some of the fruit and vegetables in season include: broad beans, peas, strawberries, as well as aubergines, asparagus, corguetes and rocket lettuce. Invite friends over to eat, drink and be merry.
- Stay up late: In Scandinavia, solstice is the biggest holiday and celebration. Norwegians dance all night in the solstice (constantly golden dusk-like) sun, with folk music, floral decorations and plenty of sauna time. They devour fish, potatoes, vodka shots and strawberries around bonfires.
- Decorate: Wait for the sun to set completely and bring light with festoon lights, tea lights and sparklers to add a little extra magic. Lighting a small candle prior to a meal can be a lovely way to give thanks for food. Also loving this fair trade bell to summon the family for tea.
Craft: If you have kiddos (or fancy some crafting) weave one or two of these little wool suns and hang in the trees. You could also make paper lanterns with tissue paper and watch them glow in the low sunshine.
- Dance: If you happen to be in Cornwall, head to the Galowan Festival in Penzance, you can embrace light with their fire – the symbol of light and keeping darkness at bay. ww.golowan.org Expect processions, markets, tents and music. The annual Faery Festival also starts today, in Torpoint. www.faeryevents.com
- Flower power: Make a flower crown – it’s very rhythmic and gentle, as well as looking great and festive.
- Stories: There’s definitely a thrill in the warm, summer air – a perfect time to tell stories of folklore and legend. To talk about hopes and dreams for the coming months and celebrate unity and nature.
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