Summer solstice is on its way, and many people are ready to celebrate by opening their pools and having parties. Celebrating this day is a tradition that dates back to ancient times. Here are some tips to make your summer celebration a success:
1) What is the Summer Solstice?
Summer Solstice is the official first day of summer. It is also the longest day of the year and occurs between June 20-23 (according to the Gregorian calendar). In 2016, it will be celebrated on June 20th. There are many cultures that place a sacred significance on this day. It was seen as a day when the sun was reborn and gave most of its light to benefit the crops. It was celebrated with banquets, bonfires, and special gifts. There are still many groups, such as Wiccans, who have celebrations for the Summer Solstice.
2) Bonfire Tips
After braving the cold of a long winter, it is fun to celebrate the warmth of summer. You can make this year’s summer solstice a fun celebration with family and friends. What better way to celebrate than with an old-fashioned bonfire! The ancients believed that the fire honored the sun and warded off any evil spirits. Just make sure you do it in a place where building fires is not forbidden by local ordinances.
The ideal place for a bonfire is away from buildings, trees, and anything else that can catch fire. Find a spot and gather up some wood. Rather than just throw the wood in a pile, set it upright until it looks like a wooden teepee. Take smaller branches and paper to make kindling. Avoid using hazardous fire-accelerating fuels. Once the fire gets started, you can feed it larger pieces of wood to keep it going. Never leave a bonfire unattended and be sure to watch children around it.
Set the bonfire on the evening of the solstice, when the outside temperature is cooler and the fire can be seen better. Many people have hot dogs to roast over the fire; however, you can grill any type of food that you prefer. You can put meat and veggies on a skewer and have delicious kebabs. If you are a vegetarian, you can stick to grilling vegetables and even fruit. The classic dessert is grilled marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate for s’mores!
3) Watch the Sunset / Sunrise
Another tradition is to celebrate the solstice all night. Your family and guests can watch the glorious sunset on June 20th and stay up to watch the sunrise. You can play games and tell ghost stories around the fire. If you like, you can hand out small party favors to remember the day. Just be careful to watch the fire and put it out completely with water when you are done.
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