Summer Solstice: Blessed Litha

Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. While some consider this the official beginning of Summer, others call it Midsummer because it’s when the Sun reaches its peak. Celebrations during the solstice are found in every country and believed to have been around since the Stone Age. Stonehenge in the UK aligns with the sunrise on the Summer Solstice and aligns with the sunset during the Winter Solstice. The Summer Solstice sunset falls between two of the pyramids of Giza near Cairo, Egypt. Christians celebrate the Feast of St. John the Baptist around the Summer Solstice.

The Pyramids of Giza near Cairo, Egypt.

Pagans, Druids, and Wiccans call the Summer Solstice Litha. And like many of the Midsummer celebrations, there are bonfires, feasts, and offerings. There is a great deal of mythology around Litha. I encourage everyone to read up on it if interested. Some of you may recall I spent last Summer in Fairbanks, AK. Being near the Arctic Circle, they have a celebration called the Midnight Sun Festival. The festival takes place at midnight and the sun is still shining. There is also a baseball game, the Midnight Sun Game. It starts at 10:30 pm and continues through midnight with no artificial lighting.

If you’ve never visited Alaska in the Summer, I recommend it. Until then, stoke up a fire, have a feast with friends, and I hope your Midsummer Night Dreams are pleasant ones. They may or may not involve fairies. If you’ve never seen Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I also recommend this. Have a blessed Litha.

The Wheel of the Year, the annual cycle of seasonal festivals observed by modern Pagans.

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