Summer Solstice Around the World

June 14, 2021 – Alli Boyer, Adult Services

For the northern half of the globe, the Summer Solstice marks the day in the year where the sun reaches its highest point – marking the start of summer and the official longest day of the year (theoretically, the day with the most sunlight – although we have no control over those cloudy days). This year, our Summer Solstice falls on June 20th, which is a SUNday. 

To some, midsummer is a slightly different holiday. While it usually falls around the Summer Solstice, the date varies from culture to culture. The Christian Church has designated June 24 as the official day of Midsummer – although they refer to it as the feast day for St. John the Baptist. 

In the practice of Hinduism, the summer solstice is known as Uttarayana and is celebrated on June 21st. Uttarayana is also called Kite festival and is denoted with observation and yoga.

In Latvia, Midsummer is called Jani, and it’s actually a national holiday, celebrated the 23rd and 24th of June. Celebrations include traditional pagan elements, such as bonfires, gathering herbs and flowers, dancing, and sharing meals.

Many cultures celebrate in many different ways. If you’re looking to celebrate the Summer Solstice, here are some ideas!
• Celebrate like the Swedes! Pick your own strawberries – traditionally, the first of the season. Coincidently, June’s full moon is also called Strawberry Moon, since this is when most strawberries ripen in the northern hemisphere.
• Connect with ancestors! Many cultures would use the solstice as an excuse to have a bonfire with their friends, families, or communities. 
• Gather like Ireland! Fairs, concerts, and fireworks frequent the solstice period. 
• Brave it like the Bulgarians! Walk barefoot over some hot coals to prove your worth.
• Beat the heat! What better way to celebrate summer than by spending the day in a pool or at a beach? 

If you’re looking for summer reads, or just more information on the Summer Solstice, we’ve got you covered:
Midsommar (DVD or Blu-Ray)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (DVD)
Midsomer Murders: Series 1-19 (DVD)
Secrets of the Sun (DVD)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Audiobook) by William Shakespeare 
A Midsummer Night’s Scream by Jill Churchill
The Great Night by Chris Adrian
Astronomy 101 : from the Sun and Moon to Wormholes and Warp Drive, Key Theories, Discoveries, and Facts about the Universe by Carolyn Collins Petersen
Astronomy for the Utterly Confused by Terry Jay Jones
Echoes of the Ancient Skies : the Astronomy of Lost Civilizations by E.C. Krupp
Summer Days by Lisa Jackson
Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand

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