5 Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Tuesday, June 20 marks the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, when the northern pole of the Earth is pointing as close to the sun as it will ever get before it starts reversing its motion, moving back toward its wintertime position.

As such, itís the middle of the warm season and the beginning of summer, and has long been associated with the sun. In pagan tradition, the day is commemorated by a celebration called Litha, though people from all religious backgrounds should feel comfortable celebrating the summer. Here are a few ideas.

Meditate in the Sunlight

Get a healthy dose of mood-boosting vitamin D by sitting in the warm sun and enjoying a short meditation session. Feel the sunís rays on your skin and sit silently, paying attention to your breath, the sounds of nature around you and the feeling of the warm air of summer. Just make sure to apply some natural sunscreen beforehand.

Enjoy A Sunrise Yoga Session

Sun salutations are aptly named, arenít they? Greet the day with some sunrise yoga that honors the sun and embodies the high-energy vibes of summer. I think a quick, heart-pumping vinyasa flow would be totally appropriate for a summer solstice practice.

Related: Which School of Yoga is Right for You?

Host a Bonfire

Few things scream summer more than a lively, friendly bonfire. Gather your friends around the fire after the sun goes down and appreciate the rowdy energy that will undoubtedly seize the group. Summer is a time for fun!

Set Up a Litha Altar

If you have a spiritual altar, consider decking it out with Litha-inspired pieces. Pinwheels are symbolic of the sun, and will make for a fantastic addition to a summertime altar. Other characteristically summery decor are sunflowers, oak branches, fruits and vegetables, and sandalwood essential oil.

Draw A Sun Mandala

Before turning in for the night, get out a pencil and some paper. Draw a symmetrical sun, and then doodle around it, making sure to draw the same designs on both sides. Keep going for as long as youíd like, ideally for at least an hour. Drawing mandalas is a meditative form of relaxation, and incorporating the sun into your mandala drawing practice is a fantastic way to end the longest day of the year.

Happy summer!

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heather g
heather g4 days ago

I'd love to have enjoyed an evening around a fire with friends, but living here I'd be eaten alive by mozzies....

Magdalen B
Magdalen B4 days ago

Cheers, Irene!

Danuta W
Danuta W6 days ago

Thanks for sharing

bob Petermann
bob Petermann6 days ago

Thanks for the information

Margie F7 days ago

Thank you

David P
David P7 days ago

Good ideas

Irene S
Irene S7 days ago

I´d love to have a bonfire to celebrate, but due to the extreme heat of over 30° and the danger of wildfires it seems a bit weird. So I´m having a glass of cool white wine instead.

Janis K
Janis K7 days ago

thanks for sharing

Trish K
Trish K7 days ago

Today is the first day of summer on this side of the world. It is warm and sunny, the birds are calling and I see a few clouds moving our way. It will all be different in 5 minutes and that is just one of the reasons I Love New England .

Marija M
Marija M7 days ago

tks very much ...