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Summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and the culmination of the arrival of summer. It is an annual festival sometimes known as Litha or Midsummer, and takes place on June 21st. With the summer solstice and the longest night of the year upon us, we begin to prepare for the festival season. A traditional part of the festival season is the wearing of flowers crowns and enjoying parties.
- Summer Season Parties
- Celebrating The Longest Day Of Summer
- Enjoying The Shortest Night Of The Year
- Supplies For Your Summer Solstice Party
- Summer Solstice Traditions
- Make The Most Of The Daylight Hours
- Summer Solstice Menu Recipes
It is believed that when you wear the crown of flowers, you have the ability to connect better with the spirit world and gain knowledge. During this period, it is said that the spirits will be able to enter your body and communicate directly with you.
The solstice occurs on the day that the sun reaches its highest point, also called its “northerly excursion” during the June solstice in the northern hemisphere, in the sky at noon, local time.
For those of you who prefer a more solemn occasion, you may choose to make offerings and sacrifices to the Lord Sun or Mother Earth at your own discretion.
For some specific ideas of how to celebrate this divine holiday, continue reading!
Summer Season Parties
Summertime parties allow the opportunity to gather with friends at the home of another friend, family member or social group. Party culture provides opportunities for the open expression of feelings and emotions. It is also a time when people are generally less inhibited than during winter months.
In addition, summertime is generally at the peak of seasonal offerings, so there is much to eat and drink.
Summer parties are meant to be fun and celebratory, though not necessarily loud or boisterous. A common theme is to have a barbecue and cook up many different delicacies. It may be traditional to serve foods that are both delicious and nourishing, like salads, steaks, burgers and even sushi.
This is a time to relax, party and enjoy yourself while you get reacquainted with friends and family. There should be plenty of alcohol, non-alcoholic drinks, and plenty of water/juice. There should be music of various kinds playing, dancing, singing, conversation, laughter and having fun.
Celebrating The Longest Day Of Summer
The longest day of the year is celebrated in many ways. In some cultures, it is called Litha or Midsummer. Some believe that the sun has reached its highest point in the sky and has become the strongest it will be all year. From this point on, the darkness grows stronger and the cold starts to take over.
We celebrate the longest day to give more strength to the sun, to thank it for all that it does for us, and to encourage it to keep shining brightly throughout the rest of the year. We can do this by making offerings to the sun and giving thanks for the blessings it brings.
Summer Solstice Brings a Day of the Sun Working Overtime For those in the Northern Hemisphere, the astronomical beginning of summer brought more hours of daylight than during any other day of the year.
There are many ways to honor the sun, but one of the most popular ones is through flower crowns. You can use any kind of flower you want, but I recommend using daisies, sunflowers, dandelions, poppies, roses, lilies, tulips, hyacinths, irises, peonies, lilacs, carnations, and violets.
Another way to honor the sun is to light fires outdoors. This can be done with candles, torches, firecrackers, sparklers, etc.
You can also go outside and enjoy the sunshine. If you live near the ocean, you can walk along the beach and watch the waves roll in. If you live close to lakes or rivers, you can sit by them and listen to their soothing sounds.
You can also make an offering to the sun by placing flowers in front of a window facing east. Sunflowers are the best option for this, since they are so closely related to the sun itself.
Enjoying The Shortest Night Of The Year
On the night of Litha, plan a party or ritual that will take place outside. Enjoy the warm air and the stars as you gaze into the heavens. You might even find a few shooting stars!
If you have children, you can teach them about the moon and how it affects tides and weather patterns. They can learn about the phases of the moon, how the moon changes color, and what causes eclipses.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could try planting seeds under the full moon. Just remember to plant them before midnight.
Telling stories by a fire is another great idea. Have everyone bring something they would like to share, then tell stories around the fire until the flames die down.
Make sure there is enough food and drink available at your party. Don’t forget to eat and drink well during this celebration.
Supplies For Your Summer Solstice Party
Of course, you’ll know best what supplies you need for your summer solstice party. But if you’re looking for suggestions, here’s a list of things you may want to consider bringing:
These lights will look like fairies dancing in the night, and give a soft lighting to your night time festivities. They are easy to string up and come in many colors.
Use these to create a cozy atmosphere while you tell ghost stories around the campfire. Candles come in different sizes and shapes, including taper candles, pillar candles, votive candles, tea lights, and scented candles.
Play music that makes people feel good. Try some upbeat songs from your favorite bands, or play some relaxing instrumental music.
The easiest way to decorate yourself for a summer solstice party is to wear floral crowns. These are usually made out of fresh flowers such as daisies, sunflower heads, rose petals, and baby’s breath.
Produce that is in season at the end of June includes strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, eggplants, peppers, onions, garlic, leeks, carrots. Including these fruits and vegetables can help you to enjoy the power of the sun.
This refreshing beverage is a wonderful treat for your guests. It has a light lemon flavor with just a hint of lavender.
Lavender is used as an ingredient in many drinks. It is added to tea, coffee, and other beverages. It is also used to make perfume. Lavender is very relaxing and calming.
Make your own using the recipe below.
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup lavender flowers
- 2 cups cold water
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- Put your lavender into a pitcher large enough to hold everything.
- Boil the water.
- Pour the boiling water over the lavender.
- Allow to steep with a towel or plate over the pitcher for 10 minutes.
- Strain and discard the lavender.
- Return the water to the pitcher.
- Add cold water, lemon juice, and sugar to the pitcher. Stir and check the taste. Add more juice or sugar to taste.
- Stir until all sugar is dissolved.
- Refrigerate and serve cold.
Offerings For The Gods
Honey cakes, garlic, sunflower seeds, and fresh water are great offerings for everyone at your party to leave for the gods. You can also make more personal offerings with arts and crafts, like scarecrows, masks, and puppets.
Summer Solstice Traditions
There are several traditions associated with the summer solstice. Here are a few of them:
Making A Stone Circle
This is a fun activity you can do with kids. Get some larger stones and build stone circles with them! You can learn about Stonehenge and other ancient stone circles together as you build them, and watch as the sun passes over them. The shadow of the stones will shift with the sun, which is another great learning opportunity for children.
Learning About The Midnight Sun
In the farthest reaches of the north, the longest nights of the year are accompanied by a bright sun at midnight. This means that there is no darkness during this time. If you live in the northern hemisphere, take advantage of this phenomenon by going outside at night.
Look up at the sky and see how much brighter it is than usual. Thank the sun for its lifegiving properties, and offer up a prayer for its continued strength.
Litha Cultural Festivals
The Litha festival celebrates the return of the sun after winter’s long sleep. The days grow longer, and the weather warms up. During this time, people celebrate with parties, feasts, and festivals. There are lots of activities to participate in, from outdoor sports to art projects. Some people even go on vacation during this time.
Midsummer represents the night sky ablaze with stars, planets and constellations. With the rise of the Sun at its height, the earth begins to heat up and vegetation grows taller and denser, finally reaching a peak before the onset of winter. Thus there is a growing sense of power and dominance within oneself during this season.
The summer and winter solstice were important dates on the ancient calendar because they marked the different seasons.
How did ancient people celebrate solstice? The ancient calendar of many peoples held Midsummer as an extremely important moment. They celebrated with bonfires, large parties, feasts, and relaxation.
Make The Most Of The Daylight Hours
The extra hours of sunlight present an opportunity to spend more time outside. Whether that means being productive or just having fun is up to you. As a pagan, these daylight hours present an opportunity to connect with deities of light, nature, sun, and positivity.
Summer Solstice Menu Recipes
There are many great ideas for your summer solstice menu. Consider these options:
- Fruit salad
- Honey cakes
- Vegetable soup
- Grilled chicken
- Pasta salad
- Coffee cake
- Ice cream