As the days grow longer and nighttime withers, we leave the final remnants of a tough New England winter clouded with shortened, darker days behind. With the onset of increasingly lighter, brighter days, our natural tendancies lean towards the celebration of the return of summer.
This year, the solstice arrives on our doorsteps with blast of extrememly hot air!
Today is June 20, the official longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of summer. Also known as Midsummer's Night, thanks to Shakespeare, or, simply, the Summer Solstice. The word solstice is a marriage of the two Latin words, sol (sun) and stice (to stand still). As the days begin to grow longer, the sun continues to rise in the sky and seems to stand still on the Summer Solstice, with the night being the shortest of the year.
Historically, the Summer Solstice has been celebrated throughout the centuries by various cultures in honor of the sun and the return of light. Dancing, bonfires and even BBQ's all pay tribute to the celebration of the arrival of summer with various festivals and events around the world paying homage to the longest day of the year.
Summer Solstice Fun Facts:
- The Druids celebration of the summer solstice as the "wedding of heaven and earth" hint at today's notion that a June wedding is "lucky."
- Herbs picked on Midsummer's Day are believed to have great strength in their healing abilities.
- The term honeymoon is derived from the Pagan term for the Summer Solstice, Honey Moon. It refers to the mead made from fermented honey that was enjoyed at wedding ceremonies performed at the time of the Summer Solstice.
- Thousands gather yearly at sites like Stonehenge and Avery in England to welcome the Summer Solstice.
Check out these articles on the Summer Solstice:
- The Summer Solstice: As Good as It Gets
- June Soltice Information
- Spiritual Meaning of the Summer Solstice