The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and is from the Latin word solstitium, which literally translates to “sun stands still.”
This year it falls on June 21, which means tomorrow, you will get more hours of sunlight than you would during any other day in the year. Find out how many hours of sun your state is set to receive here. For New York, it's about 15 out of 24 hours.
The solstice is known to nature-based faiths as Litha, and has been celebrated historically in a multitude of ways. Some scientists believe structures like Stonehenge were erected to highlight the rising of the sun on the summer solstice, and the day is a sabbat for Pagan faiths.
No matter what religion you practice, the longest day of sunlight is a reason to celebrate, and we've come up with a few ways to party in honor of the first day of summer that combine aspects of these traditional celebrations -- but with a modern twist.
Head To The Beach
One way to celebrate the vital energy that the sun brings is to head to the beach early in the morning, to watch the sunrise (kind of like they do at Stonehenge on this day.)
Bring music, summer fruit (like a watermelon salad), some of your closest friends, and charge your crystals under the sunlight for a few hours in the morning. Spend the whole day just relaxing and soaking up the sunlight, and definitely make sure to wear sunscreen.
Not only will you be spending valuable hours charging up under the sunlight, but you'll be near the water, absorbing that chill energy of riding the tides into a new season
Come Together To Hang With Your Friends
During the winter solstice, eating together at the dinner table is a symbol of the interdependence of human beings to survive during the cold winter months.
But getting together for the summer solstice symbolizes how the good weather fosters our connection to one another on a spiritual level. Summer isn't just about surviving; its about thriving.
You know that Corona commercial level of chill? Yeah, that's what you're going for.
Light Your Own Fire
The summer solstice's ruling element is fire, and one way to channel the energy of the day is to spend some time around humankind's greatest discovery: fire.
If you opt for going to the beach, you can always find one where it's legal to host a little bonfire. Everyone knows at least one cheesy dude probably named Blake who can play an acoustic rendition of "Redemption Song," so invite him along. God knows Blake is dying to show off his one creative skill.
Even if you can't do a whole bonfire, light some candles in your home and meditate for a few minutes. Squint your peepers and look softly at the flame until you can sense it in your belly, then head outside for a 10-minute walk before the sun sets.
Channel that fire in your belly as you head into this summer.
Netflix & Chill
What I mean by this is, "have sex with someone, possibly actually outdoors, without the aid of Netflix." However, I am highly aware that sex in public may not happen so easily, so feel free to improvise.
Sex is a highly creative act, and can be a powerful tool for manifestation. I mean, if it can create a baby, think about what else it can do for your life!
The summer is a time of vitality, energy, and of fun, so what could be more appropriately symbolic than the sexual act? While Pagan rituals don't necessarily incorporate it into their solstice celebration, that doesn't mean you can't.
If You Can't Take The Day Off Work:
But what can you do for the solstice if, say, you have a full-time job and a full-scale adult life? You may not be able to just take off for the beach on your own goddamn whimsy.
If that's the case, you don't have to miss the opportunity to celebrate.
Spend a few moments waking up earlier to watch the sunrise, or write in a journal for a few moments just to check in with yourself about where you're at in your life.
This can be an incredibly grounding way to enter this summer season, which is as full of transformative potential as any other.