Summer Solstice Fun Facts – Celebrate with Temporary Tattoos
June 13th, 2013
By Claudia Folch
The summer solstice is rapidly approaching on Friday, June 21st. Everyone loves summer! Filled with trips to the beach, sunny skies, and lazy days, summer is the time of year when the temperatures are heating up!
In many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice is traditionally celebrated with an all-night bonfire. Hence, the longest day of the year also becomes a long night. The solstice is celebrated by many European cultures with midsummer festivities such as dancing around a midsummer pole, freshly picked flowers, a Stonehenge visit, decorating homes with wreaths, and a big meal — preferably while basking in the long northern evening.
A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. The summer solstice occurs between June 20 and 22 when the tilt of Earth’s semi-axis, in either the northern or the southern hemisphere, is most inclined toward the sun, around which it orbits. The word solstice comes from the Latin words “sol” meaning sun, and “sistere,” meaning to stand still.
According to Timeanddate.com, Toronto, for example, will see 15 hours and 26 minutes of daylight with a sunset at 9:03 p.m. Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, will see a whopping 20 hours and 49 minutes of daylight. In the United States, New York City will see sunrise at 5:25 a.m. and sunset at 8:31 p.m. for 15 hours and 5 minutes of daylight; Los Angeles gets 40 minutes less sunlight with sunrise at 5:42 and sunset at 8:08.
Summer Solstice Fun Facts
- Summer Solstice, the time between the planting and harvesting of crops, was the traditional time for weddings. This is because many ancient peoples believed that the “grand union” of the maiden goddess and the young horned god occurred in early May at Beltaine. Since it was unlucky to compete with the deities, many couples delayed their weddings until June.
- Midsummer represented the best time to harvest honey. Mead made from fermented honey was part of wedding ceremonies performed during Summer Solstice.
- June remains a favorite month for marriage today. In some traditions, in addition to mead, newlyweds were fed dishes that featured honey for the first month of their married life to encourage love and fertility. The surviving vestige of this tradition lives on in the name given to the holiday immediately after the ceremony — the Honeymoon.
- Ancient Pagans celebrated Midsummer with bonfires, when couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as the couples were able to jump.
- Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic. In addition to bonfires keeping evil spirits from making an appearance, Pagans wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of these charms was a plant called ‘chase-devil,’ which is known today as St. John’s Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.
You can celebrate summer solstice with your favorite temporary tattoo sun designs.
How are you planning to celebrate the summer solstice?
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Claudia Folch is the Strategic Assistant to the President and CEO at Tattoo Manufacturing. She has an MBA in Finance from Western International University, and is currently working on her Doctorate in Business Administration in Leadership at Walden University.