Summer time solstice sparks celebrations at Stonehenge, in Europe

Placeholder whereas article actions load

Throughout the Northern Hemisphere on Tuesday, musicians shined their devices and youngsters strung up flower garlands in preparation for celebrations of the summer season solstice – the longest day and shortest night time of the yr on this a part of the world.

On June 21, Londoners will expertise about 17 hours of daylight. The solar will rise at 05:14 am in Ottawa and set practically 16 hours later. In Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, it is going to be darkish for 5½ hours.

For some cultures, the day has a mystical high quality to it. Totally different teams rejoice nature blooming for the beginning of summer seasonwhereas others worship the solar. Vikings and historical Egyptians celebrated the summer season solstice centuries in the past. At this time, it’s marked in quite a lot of methods in nations of the Northern Hemisphere.

Crowds gathered at Stonehenge June 21 to observe the summer season solstice dawn after covid restrictions impacted festivities in 2020 and 2021. (Video: @ carmenvazquez88 through Storyful)

For pagans, it marks the beginning of the Pageant of Litha, a celebration of the solar’s powers. Followers of paganism don particular apparel and flower garlands, that are believed to repel evil spiritsmaintain particular rituals and begin bonfires.

In Wiltshire, England, pagans and different revelers welcomed the early dawn Tuesday at Stonehenge with flutes and flower crowns.

Queen Elizabeth II’s picture was projected onto Stonehenge. Cue the controversy.

The 5,000-year-old World Heritage Web site is aligned with the solar’s motion, in order that “when you had been to face in the midst of the stone circle on midsummer’s day, the solar rises simply to the left of the Heel Stone, an outlying stone to the north-east of the monument, ”based on English Heritagewhich takes care of a whole lot of historical monuments and websites.

This yr, the celebrations of dawn at Stonehenge – which had been additionally streamed reside for many who couldn’t make the journey – had been additional particular, as a result of it was the primary time in two years that the traditional monument lifted pandemic restrictions on public gatherings.

The gang was various, based on Steven Morris, a reporter for the Guardian who was there. “A druid in flowing robes performed a waltz on the bagpipes within the dappled shade of a tree as a band of pilgrims rested on the grass making crowns of summer season flowers,” Morris wrote of the scene. “Three Buddhist monks strolled previous whereas a bunch of males took off their T-shirts within the heat sunshine and drank lager, promising to hold on partying till the solar units and rises once more.”

In France, the summer season solstice coincides with a nationwide celebration of music held yearly since 1982. On June 21, partygoers, musicians and DJs take to the streets, and nationwide monuments rework into live performance venues. The vacation is widely known in 120 nations, based on the organizers.

This yr is the fortieth anniversary of Music Day, which was began by Jack Lang, France’s tradition minister, to democratize entry to musical performances and encourage folks to find new musical genres. The Paris Philharmonic Orchestra will play Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony underneath the Louvre pyramid, whereas the Eiffel Tower will host a competition of the Latin American dance Bachata. Organizers say greater than 18,000 live shows will likely be held worldwide.

June 21 can also be the Worldwide Day of Yogacelebrated in South Asia and world wide with mass yoga classes and academic occasions about the advantages of the observe.

Sweden and its Nordic neighbors rejoice Midsommar, or Midsummer, on the weekend between June 19 and 26. In Sweden, it’s an official vacation and the beginning of 5 weeks of summer season holidays for youngsters. They mark the event with bonfires, picnics, flower-picking and maypole dancing.

Midsummer was historically a vacation of affection and fertility. In keeping with historical folklore, those that put at the least seven completely different flowers underneath their pillows on midsummer would dream of their future companion. And Swedish journalist Po Tidholm informed Elle journal in 2019 that Swedes are likely to drink extra in the course of the vacation than they usually would – which might result in surprising romantic pairings.

“That, and the romantic really feel of a ravishing and lengthy night time when the solar virtually doesn’t set, used to make March 22, 9 months after Midsummer, the day when most infants had been born in Sweden,” Tidholm informed Elle. “That is not true anymore, although, since most Swedes are pragmatic sufficient to plan their pregnancies with the intention to give beginning when it fits their work schedule.”

Leave a Comment