Jun 21, 2011

Fun Summer Solstice Facts

Happy Summer Solstice, the celestial event celebrating the longest day and shortest night of the year! Sol + Stice is derived by combining two 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.

Celebrated over the centuries by a variety of diverse cultures and representing even more diverse beliefs. When digging around some interesting folklore and legends are uncovered behind this ancient celebration and its meanings. 

Interesting Solstice Facts:
  1. Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year.
  2. Pagans called the Summer Solstice moon the “Honey Moon” for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at Summer Solstice.
  3. In Lithuania it was said the dew from the morning of Summer Solstice would make old people look younger and young girls would be more beautiful.
  4. Ancient Pagans celebrated Summer Solstice with bonfires. Couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump.
  5. The astrological sign associated with the Summer Solstice is Cancer, which is symbolized by the crab. It’s said that the crab is the symbol since the year walks backwards like a crab with progressively shorter days after the solstice.
  6. Summer Solstice was thought to be a magical time when evil spirits would disappear.
  7. In England bon fires were lit to keep the evil spirits away from the town.
  8. If you don’t sleep during the Summer Solstice and sit in the middle of a stone circle you’ll see fairies, ghosts, and goblins.
  9. In Estonia if you were able to jump over a solstice bon fire, without setting your pants on fire, you were ensured of having good luck during the next year.
  10. If there’s something you want walk around the solstice bon fire three times with a pebble in your hand while you whisper what you want to the pebble before throwing it into the fire.
  11. In South America paper boats were filled with flowers, set on fire, and then released to sail down the river carrying prayers to the gods.
  12. Celtic folklore tells of placing the ashes of the Litha fire around fields of crops to assure bountiful harvests.
  13. During the Summer Solstice men named John had a wreath of oak leaves placed on their doors to honor them.
Welcome summer!