Did you know it is the summer solstice on Saturday 20th June? I can't quite believe how fast this year has gone and here we are embarking on the longest day of the year!In todays post I touch upon the history of the summer solstice and share some ideas of ways to celebrate the solstice yourself!
Did you know?
Here in the UK we will benefit from over 16hours of daylight!
When we say the longest day of the year, we mean the longest amount of daylight in 24hours. When the sun reaches its highest point in the sky it marks the start of summer
You may have heard the summer solstice referred to as Midsummers Day, Litha or St Johns day?
According to pagan folklore, evil spirits would appear on the summer solstice because the veil to the other realms is at its thinnest. To protect themselves they would wear protective flowers and herbs; you may have heard of St. Johns wart? Back then this plant was known as "chase the devil" and was thought to be the most effective way of 'chasing off' these spirits.
There would also be bonfires on Midsummers Eve and the ashes would be used to fertilise harvests, the ash was thought to protect the harvest from going bad. Many people in this society would journey to Stonehenge, and welcome in the summer through dance and celebrations.
Did you know?
The stones of Stonehenge line up perfectly with the direction of the sunrise on the summer solstice?!
Whilst a trip to Stonehenge is off the cards, (due to the current covid-19 pandemic) we can celebrate the summer solstice in many other ways, here our favourite summer solstice traditions...
Start your day with an early rise!
Wake up early and watch the sunrise. Welcome in Midsummer by watching the sunrise, 04.42 (told you it was early!) When the sun is still low in the sky you can look directly at her, a powerful reminder of the suns power and effects she has on the earth.
Waking up early and watching the sunrise allows for a moment of peace, an opportunity to be mindful and show gratitude for the light, warmth and energy of the sun. A reminder that without her there would be no life.
Enjoy the morning with some yoga and meditation
Find a quiet spot outside and practise your sun salutation. Being outside provides extra sensory benefits to your practise, notice the fresh morning air, the sound of the birds and the earth beneath your feet. You will feel revitalised and full of energy!
If yoga isn't your forte some meditation will be a good alternative. Again, find a quiet spot outdoors and make sure to be comfortable. Having some hot herbal tea with or cool water will provide some extra comfort. Practising mindfulness is your way into meditation, notice your senses, how do you feel? Taking deep focussed breaths will help still your mind, if it wonders refocus your breath. I recommend meditation for at least 10 minutes or longer to really feel its benefits.
Celebrate the sun throughout the day!
There are endless ways in which you can celebrate the summer solstice, here are a few:
- soak up the sun, spend plenty of time outside. This can be walking, sunbathing, gardening, the list is endless!
- get creative, particularly if you have children in your life. Crafting, baking and drawing are all ways you can share the joy of summer with children. Ensure to include sun symbols and pictures into your creations!
- create some flower crowns using fresh wild flowers
- have and fun and feel free! Enjoy the extra hours of daylight and remember to find the fun and magic in every day! Dancing is my favourite way to do this, don't care who is watching just dance your socks off, its very liberating!
Host a summer soiree ...
Later in the day invite your family and friends to join you for a Midsummer bonfire. This doesn't have to be a literal bonfire, a BBQ is perfect!
Remember you are celebrating the sun, so keep energy high and the vibe positive. I suggest avoiding alcohol and a serving homemade summer spritz - elderflower fizz is a great option! Serve fruit and a fresh grilled veggies, toasting some marshmallows over the grill later in the evening. Perfect.
I would love to hear the ways you guys celebrate the summer solstice, comment below or tag us in your celebration pics on Instagram!