Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Soltice

I know the official summer solstice was at 759 pm last night but today is the official start of Summer. Today is being the full first day. Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning "sun" + "to stand still." As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.

As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Northern Hemisphere celebrates in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.
Here is how some cultures celebrate it:

Awed by the great power of the sun, civilizations in the northern areas have for centuries celebrated the Summer Solstice, otherwise known as Midsummer (see Shakespeare), the Christian St. John's Day, or the Wiccan Litha.

The Celts & Slavs celebrated with dancing & bonfires to help increase the sun's energy. The Chinese marked the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light.

Perhaps the most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids' celebration of the day as the "wedding of Heaven and Earth", resulting in the present day belief of a "lucky" wedding in June.
Today, the day is still celebrated around the world - most notably in England at Stonehenge and Avebury, where thousands still gather to welcome the sunrise on the Summer Solstice.

Pagan spirit gatherings or festivals are also common in June, when groups gather to light a sacred fire, and stay up all night to welcome the dawn.

For me and alot of Americans it means Hotter weather, Going to the beach, and barbeques...with teh good weather forecast for today it means I am off to they beach---------HAPPY SUMMER!!!

No comments: