Summer season solstice sparks celebrations at Stonehenge, in Europe

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Throughout the Northern Hemisphere on Tuesday, musicians shined their devices and kids strung up flower garlands in preparation for celebrations of the summer season solstice – the longest day and shortest evening of the yr on this a part of the world.

On June 21, Londoners will expertise about 17 hours of daylight. The solar will rise at 05:14 am in Ottawa and set practically 16 hours later. In Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, it is going to be darkish for 5½ hours.

For some cultures, the day has a mystical high quality to it. Completely different teams have a good time nature blooming for the beginning of summer seasonwhereas others worship the solar. Vikings and historical Egyptians celebrated the summer season solstice centuries in the past. As we speak, it’s marked in a wide range of methods in nations of the Northern Hemisphere.

Crowds gathered at Stonehenge June 21 to look at the summer season solstice dawn after covid restrictions impacted festivities in 2020 and 2021. (Video: @ carmenvazquez88 by way of Storyful)

For pagans, it marks the beginning of the Pageant of Litha, a celebration of the solar’s powers. Followers of paganism don particular apparel and flower garlands, that are believed to repel evil spiritsmaintain particular rituals and begin bonfires.

In Wiltshire, England, pagans and different revelers welcomed the early dawn Tuesday at Stonehenge with flutes and flower crowns.

Queen Elizabeth II’s picture was projected onto Stonehenge. Cue the controversy.

The 5,000-year-old World Heritage Website is aligned with the solar’s motion, in order that “in the event you have been to face in the midst of the stone circle on midsummer’s day, the solar rises simply to the left of the Heel Stone, an outlying stone to the north-east of the monument, ”based on English Heritagewhich takes care of a whole bunch of historical monuments and websites.

This yr, the celebrations of dawn at Stonehenge – which have been additionally streamed stay for many who couldn’t make the journey – have been further particular, as a result of it was the primary time in two years that the traditional monument lifted pandemic restrictions on public gatherings.

The group was various, based on Steven Morris, a reporter for the Guardian who was there. “A druid in flowing robes performed a waltz on the bagpipes within the dappled shade of a tree as a band of pilgrims rested on the grass making crowns of summer season flowers,” Morris wrote of the scene. “Three Buddhist monks strolled previous whereas a bunch of males took off their T-shirts within the heat sunshine and drank lager, promising to hold on partying till the solar units and rises once more.”

In France, the summer season solstice coincides with a nationwide celebration of music held yearly since 1982. On June 21, partygoers, musicians and DJs take to the streets, and nationwide monuments rework into live performance venues. The vacation is well known in 120 nations, based on the organizers.

This yr is the fortieth anniversary of Music Day, which was began by Jack Lang, France’s tradition minister, to democratize entry to musical performances and encourage individuals to find new musical genres. The Paris Philharmonic Orchestra will play Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony beneath the Louvre pyramid, whereas the Eiffel Tower will host a pageant of the Latin American dance Bachata. Organizers say greater than 18,000 live shows might be held worldwide.

June 21 can also be the Worldwide Day of Yogacelebrated in South Asia and all over the world with mass yoga periods and academic occasions about the advantages of the observe.

Sweden and its Nordic neighbors have a good time Midsommar, or Midsummer, on the weekend between June 19 and 26. In Sweden, it’s an official vacation and the beginning of 5 weeks of summer season holidays for kids. They mark the event with bonfires, picnics, flower-picking and maypole dancing.

Midsummer was historically a vacation of affection and fertility. In response to historical folklore, those that put at the very least seven completely different flowers beneath their pillows on midsummer would dream of their future associate. And Swedish journalist Po Tidholm advised Elle journal in 2019 that Swedes are inclined to drink extra throughout the vacation than they usually would – which may result in surprising romantic pairings.

“That, and the romantic really feel of an exquisite and lengthy evening when the solar nearly doesn’t set, used to make March 22, 9 months after Midsummer, the day when most infants have been born in Sweden,” Tidholm advised Elle. “That is not true anymore, although, since most Swedes are pragmatic sufficient to plan their pregnancies so as to give start when it fits their work schedule.”

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