June 20th marks this year's summer solstice, and we'll be celebrating with Eastwood Cycling over spin, yoga, live music & fresh juice. Spots are limited and the last event sold out quick, so hop on it by heading here.
We've all partied hard given much less of a reason than summer solstice, why not take a hint from the ancients and celebrate the longest day of the year? Here are some traditions to inspire your own unconventional summer solstice celebration... (source)
In ancient Greece, summer solstice included a festival to honor the agriculture god, Cronus. It also marked a one-month countdown to the opening of the Olympic games. In the days leading up to summer solstice, the Ancient Romans paid tribute to Vesta, the goddess of the hearth, which included sacrificial rituals.
We'll take a pass on the sacrifice, but festivals and farm(-to-table restaurant) celebrations can totally take on a modern interpretation.
Midsummer was also a crucial time of year for Vikings, who would meet to discuss legal matters and resolve disputes around the summer solstice. They would visit wells thought to have healing powers and build huge bonfires, a tradition also practiced by Germanic, Slavic, and Celtic pagans.
Sounds like a good time to patch things up with a friend... and if that's not in the cards, throw a bonfire on the beach (fire bans permitting.)
The ancient Chinese believed the sun was exactly in the middle of the sky at noon on summer solstice, marking the beginning of summer. They participated in ceremonies to honor the earth, femininity, and yin energy, whereas winter solstice rituals were devoted to the heavens, masculinity, and yang.
Hot springs + spa day, anyone?
It is believed the Druids led ritual celebrations at Stonehenge during midsummer. Apparently, this didn't happen at Stonehenge in particular, but ignoring the historians, many contemporary pagans and partiers continue to hit up Stonehenge to celebrate. In fact, Fox News reported that over 20,000 people have gathered at Stonehenge to honor the summer solstice.
The Druids may not have done it, but who's to say you can't? Happy solstice, enjoy the sunlight and live it up - people have already been doing it for thousands of years.