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Summer Solstice Traditions Around the World

Summer Solstice Traditions Around the World

The longest day of the year is here! In Alaska, Land of the Midnight Sun, summer soltice season means daylight until well past bedtime... in most places it never really gets dark at all. Alaskan know that this time of year, dinner time and bed time creep later and later... On sunny days, it is easy to get off work, spend the evening outdoors playing and find it somehow became 11 pm. PLUS, no one has had official dinner and the sun is still out shining! At Wildhaven, we encourage you to embrace these moments and enjoy summer's gift of light.

Many northern cultures celebrate the Summer Soltice with a special festival. We decided to pull together a few of our favorite soltice tradition from around the work to share with you. Across the globe, traditions such as Midsommer, Ivan Kupala, Tefukat Tammuz, and the renowned Stonehenge Summer Solstice Celebration have historically marked the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere.

Keep reading to learn about these four solstice traditions, along with some fun solstice celebrations and activities you and your family can enjoy! 

Midsommer

Midsommer, a national holiday in several European countries but most often associated with Sweden, is a spectacular celebration of the midpoint of the harvest season and the summer solstice. The most common ways to celebrate include singing, dancing, and collecting flowers, which symbolize love and happiness during solstice times!

For thousands of years, people have gathered to dance to lively music in appreciation of the return of summer. One of the loveliest traditions is decorating maypoles and flower crowns! Maypoles, made from tree trunks, are adorned with flowers, leaves, and ribbons to express joy and gratitude to the sun. Flower crowns are worn as a symbolic display of beauty and appreciation for the longest day of the year.

How to celebrate with your kids:

Welcome the summer solstice with a fairytale-like flower crown dance party! Here is a tutorial on making flower crowns from the Nordic Center in Oregon.

[Nordic Northwest's tutorial]

Ivan Kapula

In Eastern European countries like Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, Ivan Kapula is a celebration of the peak summer. There are countless ways that Ivan Kapula is celebrated in these countries, such as bonfires, setting Kapula wreaths in water, and magical quests to hunt for The Flowering Fern! Traditional Ivan Kapula traditions are centered around the natural world, and show appreciation for the true magic of summer.

How to celebrate with your kids:

What better way to celebrate Ivan Kupala than with a bonfire feast, adorned with summer foliage and glowing candles? Short on ambition, lighting a candle and talking about the traditions of this holiday is a easy way to learn about Ivan Kapula. This website has a ton of great info for kids!

Tefukat Tammuz

Takufat Tammuz is the Hebrew term for summer solstice. The month of Tammuz marks the beginning of the summer season on the lunar calendar. This celebration, like many others around the world, is associated with themes of renewal and reflection. In ancient times, this day was also a period of commemoration for agricultural cycles, and a way to give thanks to these life-sustaining crops. The Hebrew month of Tammuz calls for the celebration of the sun and its ability to sustain life! The word sun in Hebrew is Shemesh, a true representation of life and hope.

How to celebrate with your kids- 

Help welcome the month of Tammuz with a magical and ever-so bright sun-wheel wand! Here is easy to follow tutorial from Our Happy Tribe.

[Our Happy Tribe's Tutorial]

Stonehenge Sunrise

Stonehenge, located in Wiltshire, England, is an amazing monument built with large stones called "sarsens." This mesmerizing structure is perfectly aligned to display the sun’s movements and is believed to have served as an ancient measure of time before clocks and calendars existed! Standing in the center of this monument, the stones are positioned to allow the sun’s rays to shine through the formation's center, known as the "heel stone," at the sunrise of the summer solstice.

Stonehenge is one of the unique ways people have celebrated the solstice for over 5,000 years! While the exact purpose of Stonehenge remains a mystery, it is believed that ceremonies and celebrations took place at this special site to welcome changing seasons and admire the beautiful sun and sky.

How to celebrate with your kids:

Watching the beautiful sunrise on the morning of summer solstice is the perfect way to celebrate the longest day of the year. Pack a blanket, a warm jacket, and a cup of tea, and admire the sun’s rays all together!

 
Wildhaven Wools wishes you a wonderful summer solstice! 

 

Sources:

https://www.rituals.co.th/th/mag-travel-summer-solstice-rituals-around-the-world.html

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/things-to-do/solstice/what-is-the-summer-solstice/

https://theweek.com/59039/summer-solstice-why-people-gather-at-stonehenge

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Midsummer-holiday

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2018/07/images-from-ivan-kupala-night/564818/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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