Since the debut of the world, a natural phenomenon, as rare as a raindrop in the Sahara, occurred. A duo of solstices occurred in two hemispheres of the globe, one in December, the other in July. There were only two per annum, yet only one of them was worshipped by cultures and warriors who shaped the world as we know it. It was the one which stretched the longevity, lifespan, and mortality of the sun for one day – The Summer Solstice!
A slice of history and the Summer Solstice
This wondrous sensation was revered by many Hawaiian tribes, and even Shakespeare wrote about it in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
- The Ancient Egyptians were rumoured to have constructed The Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx in honour of summer solstices.
- Not forgetting the Ancient Greeks like as Socrates, Aristotle, or Plato who used the solstice to discover the size of the Earth.
- India is recognized for its worship of Surya the Hindu Sun God.
- The Aztecs used the day as a constructional apparatus to construct buildings that would (in time) align precisely with the silhouettes of the summer and winter solstices.
- The Mayans – akin to the Aztecs – built breath-taking monuments, or in other words, tributes to the Star and Sun Gods.
- And the mystically astonishing architectural wonder of the world, Stonehenge, was also alleged to have been formed to celebrate the occasion!
Summer Solstice today
Summer Solstice has always been more than just an organic occurrence. It has thrived as an indicator, a crest, a beacon that marks the start of summer – the brightest day of the year. And that tradition has continued with countries round the globe celebrating the Solstice till today in their own special way. Here is a look at how Summer Solstice is celebrated across the length and breadth of the globe.
The USA, the star-spangled country, has countless different celebrations, but some of the most common are:
- Bursting of crackers
- Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade (With a different theme every year
- Yoga event at Time Square
- Family dinners and feasts
- Educational picnics
- Parade in the Fremont Fair
- The State of Alaska takes advantage of the solstice by hosting a late-night baseball game in Fairbanks.
Then comes the home of low-budget furniture, a green and black music player, and A.B.B.A – Sweden. The elongated country. Scandinavia is quite well-known for celebrating the summer solstice – and Sweden is no exception. The Swedish participate in “Midsommarstång” festivities – a day of endearing self-indulgence, and luxurious decadence. Scandinavia’s illustrious and famed Midsummer celebration includes delicious meals, maypole-dancing, singing, flower-picking, herb-collecting, folk stories, and unmarried ladies placing seven little flowers under her pillow – a superstition. It is folklore that women who do this tend to dream of her future spouse.
That’s Sweden, but one of its neighbors rumored to have the best education system also celebrates the occasion with Juhannus. Finland celebrates Juhannus to welcome the warmth of summer as the country’s cold is Antarctic.
Even Reykjavík, Iceland rejoices with the Secret Solstice. A celebration identical to Finland’s with a few native tweaks.
In fact, Scandinavia loved this festival so much that they made an unfathomably melodramatic and tragic film in its honor by the name of “Midsommar” – it was quite the Scandal-avia.
But seeing as this is one of Europe’s most cherished evenings, we shan’t bind it to the mythic realms of Asgard, Vanaheim, Nidavellir, and Hellheim.
We’ll take it further to the cesspool of fish and chips, the Union Jack, and an immortal monarch. England, or as they like to call it, “Great Britain”. On the day, Christians and Catholics attend a mass for the birthday of John the Baptist, whilst the rest mostly spark bonfires.
Greece celebrates with Kronia. In the old days, Ancient Greece was filled with slaves – but on Midsummer’s Day, the slaves were discharged from their duties to cool down from the rigor of their employment.
And finally shift your gaze to the good old down under. Sunny Australia, where the Solstice this summer day of December 22nd, will give it a fabulous 14 hours of sunlight. All ye good folks who are lucky to be there just head to the Sydney Opera House that will put on a packed special Midsummer show. Or else wait for the Solstice extravaganza that is soon to unfold over the country.
Summer Solstice is also the time that we, at Solar Power Nation offer some great discounts and special prices if you want to go solar. Reach out to us.