After my wonderful experience watching the sun rise from Burrow Mump for the summer solstice. I came away feeling I didn’t really know enough about the summer solstice and what it meant.
Over the last month I have enjoyed learning about the Summer solstice. I have learnt its meanings for different groups and the history of the solstice.
Summer Solstice is known as Midsummer. It means the earths poles has maximum tilt towards the sun. The sun reaches the highest point in the sky, resulting in the longest period of daylight.
Harvest and Fertility.
Historically it was a time that signified the changing seasons, when the harvest happened and food was more plentiful. People could then start to think about storing food for the long winter months. I see this all around me, hay has been cut ready to feed the animals in winter. From the garden we have been picking the raspberries / strawberries and freezing them or making jams.
Summer Solstice is a time to celebrate fertility, we see the lambs in the fields. The House Martins and Swallows are feeding the chicks in the mud nests attached to the house.
Around the northern hemisphere summer solstice is celebrated in different ways.
Building fires appears to be a popular way to celebrate the summer solstice. People in Estonia and Latvia believe that the fire scares mischievous harvest-ruining spirits. The bigger the fire the further away the spirits keep (so the better the harvest will be).
In the Casper Mountain in Wyoming, USA. People throw a handful of red soil into the bonfire, and believe it grants a wish.
In Russia and Ukraine, people make wreaths of flowers and throw them into the water . They attempt to tell their futures from the wreath’s movements.
The Beauty of Nature.
The Summer solstice is a time to celebrate the beauty of our surroundings and all that the Earth has to offer.
On a personnel level, I have learnt that the summer solstice is a celebration of the return to light and should remind us of the light within us. To harness our full potential and to appreciate the positive things in our lives. It is a time to reconnect with the outside world. Being in fresh air, enjoying wildlife, seeing the sunrise or sunset, taking a walk or just relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the surroundings.
I now feel I understand the wonderful reasons why people all over the northern hemisphere enjoy the solstice and celebrate it in different ways. It makes waking up at 4.30 am a worthwhile experience and allows for time to reflect.