Before modern technology made it possible to illuminate darkness in the middle of winter and ship produce around the world throughout the year, our ancestors lived in close alignment with the cyclical nature of the seasons. Many around the world held rituals and celebrations for the various phases of these cycles.
Today, more and more people are yearning to live closer to nature once again and to celebrate the earth’s rhythms. As we move through summer solstice 2022, there are ways that we can mindfully celebrate the wonder of this time of year.
On this journey of uncovering mindful ways to celebrate the summer solstice, we will explore the following topics and questions:
The summer solstice marks the first day of summer and is the time of year when the sun is furthest away from the equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice 2022 lands on Tuesday, June 21st. Depending on what’s happening in the sky, the summer solstice tends to shift between June 20th, 21st, and 22nd. Since the sun is the furthest away from the equator on this day, it makes the summer solstice the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
It is worth noting that the summer solstice occurs in December in the Southern Hemisphere. When the Northern Hemisphere celebrates the longest day of the year, the Southern Hemisphere experiences the shortest as it is in the midst of winter – and vice versa.
It is said that recognition of the summer solstice may have originally been related to timing crop cycles in the Northern and Central European Neolithic cultures. Ancient cultures around the world celebrated this time of year in a variety of ways, such as by lighting bonfires, celebrating the earth and feminine forces, and paying tribute to gods and goddesses.
There are still celebrations and rituals for summer solstice today. For example, in Stonehenge, England, many gather to watch the sunrise. Solstice bonfires light up in Austria and the Midnight Sun Festival honors the sun in Fairbanks, Alaska. These are just a few of the many places where this celestial event is honored and celebrated.