The summer solstice has been celebrated for centuries, with all sorts of traditions growing up around it. Most recognize the event in some way with holidays, festivals, and rituals around June 21st with different themes. Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). The summer solstice occurs on the day that has the longest period of daylight – except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice.
The solstice happens twice each year, at which times the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole. In the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice is usually celebrated on the 21st of June, while in the southern hemisphere, it’s usually celebrated on the 21st of December.
Here are some inspirational ways to celebrate:
1. Seek fulfillment from your life. The summer solstice represents the beginning of summer and a time of fulfillment. This is an excellent time to assess how your goals are going. If you made New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself if you are still aligned with them or have you strayed from them? Take this opportunity to reinvigorate them and to make any necessary changes to achieve your aims in life.
2. Talk a walk outside down at the beach or in your local park. It is a good way to get connected with the sun and nature and try to make it a daily habit.
3. Start a gratitude journal. Every evening write down five good and wonderful things that occurred during your day, to help you better notice fulfillment when you feel it.
4. Consolidate your energies and nurture yourself. The stability of summer and the promise of balmy, warmer days ahead is considered to be a time to develop yourself, to set yourself free and to nurture yourself.
5. Start a new diet today using the fresh fruits and vegetables of summer and visit your local farmers market. Don’t just see it as a “diet” though; use this opportunity to align your thinking about food to one that involves eating more greens, more locally grown foods, more organic foods and less processed foods.
6. Renew your wardrobe. If you haven’t updated your look in a while, ask yourself if your clothes are still representative of who you are now? Are those clothes showing you to your best advantage or are they letting you down through ill fit, out-of-date style or simply poor choices? Send the unwanted clothing items to the charity store or consider a clothes swap party with a bunch of friends.
7. Learn about a healing technique that has interested you for a while like a couples massage lesson with us. You will learn some simple, easy to learn techniques to relax and de-stress each other and it will deepen your bond.
8. Dance around a maypole or throw a party with a bonfire. If you’re lucky enough to live where the local community has organized a maypole, give it a go! A bonfire is part of the tradition of the summer solstice. Fire has always been a source of protection for human beings, scaring off the beings of the night, both real and magical. Nowadays you can reinvent the bonfire as a great reason to hold a summer solstice party with friends. Just be sure to choose a location where it is both safe and permitted to burn a bonfire – check with the local authority first. In some places there will a fire ban due to the dry conditions, so make plans to have a party without the bonfire if this happens.
9. Honor the sun with yoga. There is a set of exercises known as the Sun Salutation or Salute to the Sun which you can perform.
These exercises are intended to exercise both your body and your soul, balancing both in harmony through both meditation and physical movement in one. Begin this exercise on the morning of the summer solstice and aim to make it a daily habit from this time on.
10. Celebrate with a fun and unique spa party with friends. Maybe start off with a personalized sun salutation yoga session, followed by an outdoor massage, or body scrub. You can get beach ready, de-stress and catch up all at the same time. Take care of yourself so that this season can be enjoyed to the fullest!