Today marks the beginning of the Summer Solstice, or Litha, in the Northern Hemisphere. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year- and the shortest night-where the northern pole of the Earth is pointing the closest to the sun as it will all year, before reversing its position heading back into the wintertime. It marks the height of warmth and sunshine, where summer fruits and vegetables are in full bloom and ripening in the heat. Litha, an ancient celebration of the Summer Solstice, is being widely celebrated today by people of many backgrounds and belief systems – so feel free to participate no matter what your beliefs are!
All over the world people celebrate the Summer Solstice. Quoting Vogue, here are a few examples of different regions celebrations and traditions:
“Traditionally, the summer solstice and its invigorating effect on the planet has been considered a cause of celebration around the world. (After all, who wouldn’t welcome a little extra sunshine with open arms?) In Sweden, midsommar day festivities include outdoor dancing, flower-picking, and a feast of pickled herring, boiled potatoes, and plenty of schnapps. At night, tradition finds some Swedish girls laying down seven different types of flowers under their pillows, to supposedly ensure that their future husbands will appear in their dreams.
In Iceland, where the sun sets after midnight during the solstice, people take advantage of the extended daylight by flocking to a four-day music festival in Reykjavik, which features over 100 artists. In New York, yogis head toward Times Square, where thousands practice their downward dogs at free yoga classes that take place all day long beneath the area’s massive billboards.
One of the biggest global solstice celebrations takes place at Stonehenge, where druids, mystics, and more than 20,000 other sun worshippers witness the golden sunrise of the solstice, which perfectly aligns in between the mysterious ruins of the ancient archaeological site.”
How can we celebrate the Summer Solstice?
- Spend time in the sunlight- The easiest and most practical way to celebrate today would be to step outside! Bask in the sun, take some time to meditate under a tree, enjoy a nice swim in a warm lake or pool. Feel the sunshine on your face, embracing your whole body, and give a little thanks to the wonderful place we live.
- Sunrise Yoga Session- Litha also coincides with the International Day of Yoga, so why not wake up early and celebrate both wonderful holidays? Roll out your mat as the sun is coming up and practice a few rounds of sun salutations. Embrace the energy of the sun as you warm up your body.
- Eat summer fruits and vegetables– If you’re lucky enough to pick the fruit or vegetables yourself, do so, as this will be the purest way to connect with the earth in celebration. If not, head to a local farmer’s market or supermarket and choose the juiciest organic peaches, or vine ripened tomatoes. Make a smoothie or your summer fruits, or a summer salad of tomatoes and cucumbers, or whatever you fancy. Give thanks to the earth for the soil and the sun for the warmth to grow these nutrient rich foods for your body.
- Make yourself a summer sacred space- Many of us already have a sacred space or altar set aside where we place our most special items. Add in some summery items such as sunflowers, fruits, oak branches, or essential oils or incense such as sandalwood, rose, or chamomile. Liven up the space with some bright splashes of yellow, symbolic of the warmth of the sun. Add in a bowl of water which can be symbolic of those beautiful summer storms we see.
Summer Solstice Ritual Bath
-citrine, and carnelian crystals
-calendula, red roses, to cover surface
-a prayer for creativity
-body brush with a white sage wand
-burn the smoke of white sage around your body
-step into bath, dunk head under water
-lightly tap the area around your solar plexus and heart center
-visualize a glowing sun light igniting at the base of the throat, spreading all throughout the physical and then auric body
-sit and soak in the energy you’ve created
Let me know what ways you celebrate the Summer Solstice and which of these suggestions were your favorites.
Love and Light.