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5 Ways To Celebrate The Summer Solstice 2012! (Video)

5 Ways To Celebrate The Summer Solstice 2012! (Video)

I love the summer solstice, a time when we experience the wonder of a perfect balance between night and day, at the moment when the sun climbs to its farthest point north of the equator.

This year the solstice happened at 7:09 p.m. EDT on June 20 in the U.S. Daylight lasts just a fraction of a second longer on June 20 than on June 19 or 21. From here on out, the days will get just a bit shorter each day until the winter solstice in December.

For those in the Southern Hemisphere, of course, the opposite is true: this solstice is the astronomical marker for the beginning of winter.

Check out these 5 ways to celebrate:

1.  Discover What The Solstice Is All About

From The Christian Science Monitor:

The reason for these fluctuations has to do with the tilt of Earth’s axis. Our planet’s spin is skewed 23.5 degrees. At the summer solstice, the North Pole is tilted as much as possible toward the sun. The winter solstice occurs when the planet’s northernmost point is directed as far as possible away from the sun. That means that those of us north of the equator get more rays in the summer months.

The sun is always above the horizon in summertime at the North Pole, reaching its apex at the solstice. This perpetual daylight continues until the autumn equinox in September, when the sun finally sets. A months-long twilight follows until October, when the North Pole experiences round-the-clock winter darkness.

2.  Take A Trip To Stonehenge

No one knows why ancient people built Stonehenge, but it was constructed to align with the summer and winter solstices. If you’ve ever visited this prehistoric site, you know that it is a place of wonder, filled with magical energy. Pagans and druids and a lot of tourists witness the sunrise on the longest day of the year at the prehistoric site, marking the event with religious ceremonies.

This year, the BBC reports that a 22 foot figure, called Ancestor has been moved to the stones ahead of the solstice celebrations. The seven tonne steel statue depicts a man with his “head thrown back and arms open wide”.

After the solstice it will be dismantled and taken to nearby Salisbury, also in the county of Wiltshire, for the Olympic torch event.

3.  Take Part In An Ancient Ritual

Ritual celebrations of seasonal changes happened in cultures worldwide in earlier times, and in many places bonfires are still lit at the summer solstice to celebrate the longest day of the year, when the sun is at the peak of its power. From Finland to Spain, midsummer is often associated with these huge public bonfires, which draw crowds of spectators at night.  In the past, people leaped over those bonfires to encourage fertility, purification, health and love. The fire of course represents the sun.

4.  Read About Superstitions

How much do you know about superstitions associated with the summer solstice and midsummer? Here are a couple of them from Project Britain:

Roses are of special importance on Midsummer’s Eve. It is said that any rose picked on Midsummer’s Eve, or Midsummer’s Day, will keep fresh until Christmas.

At midnight on Midsummer’s Eve, young girls should scatter rose petals before them and say:
Rose leaves, rose leaves,
rose leaves I strew.
 He that will love me,
come after me now.

Then the next day, Midsummer’s Day, their true love will visit them.

5.  Watch This Video To See How You Can Measure The tilt Of The Earth, Using Just Yourself!

Celebrate and be happy!

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Photo Credit: istock

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36 comments

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6:08AM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

1/ Listen to morning bird songs ( for a few minutes before "life" gets in the way)

2/ Drink mead

3/ Bless the bees (for the mead)

4/ work in the garden (before it gets too hot) giving it your blessings and thanks.( and a mead libation)

5/ Play in the sun

6/ Picnic with friends. Eat summer fruits.

7/ Share some mead

8/ Go for a walk in the woods/ park/ beach. Touch the earth ( at he very least spend a few minutes of your lunch hour in the garden section of a store) reconnect with nature.

9/ Toast the setting sun ( with mead) give thanks and offer up prayers for a good harvest.

1:08PM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

love it. thanks

6:17PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Thanks for this.
I've always wanted to go to Stonehenge, just haven't made it there ... yet.

6:17PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Thanks for this.
I've always wanted to go to Stonehenge, just haven't made it there ... yet.

2:52PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Happy times are here again !

5:33AM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

Thanks

6:40PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

Not much to celebrate, except to support environmental organizations.

5:18PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

Juliet D.
You make some interesting points. Personally, as a Pagan, I Honour the Earth. If that is the same as worshipping her, then fair enough. After all,she is the physical manifestation of all life, and provider of all our needs. As a matter of balance, I also honour Spirit, both incarnate and discarnate, Human, Animal, Plant; all Spirit !

As for what I did over the Summer Solstice. I was working in my capacity as a Care Support Worker aiding the mentally infirm. I believe my absence from ceremony is understandable !

2:26PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

We're just about to head into the winter solstice here... Yay for the longest night!

2:15PM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

I'm not religious at all, but it's always fun to yank the chain of people who believe that anything not in the bible is "satanic."
Now, if we could just get these dolts to understand that people who want to protect the environment so their children have a decent life are not "worshiping" the earth. So tired of these death-cultists who think it's ok to trash the earth because the afterlife is the only thing that matters.

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