This year, the summer solstice falls on Wednesday, June 21st. The event is typically celebrated worldwide as it is considered the longest day of the year.
The summer solstice occurs when one of Earth's geographical poles reaches its maximum tilt towards the sun, thus making it the day with the most amount of sunlight in any given year.
The summer solstice happens twice a year, in June for the northern hemisphere and in December for the southern hemisphere. It is also known as midsummer throughout much of Europe, a festival and tradition that has roots in pre-Christian paganism.
So, for the occasion, we at BritShop decided to round up the 5 best ways to celebrate the summer solstice in the United Kingdom. Read on!
1. Watch the sunrise and the sunset
Believe it or not, one of the most popular ways of observing the summer solstice is by just being present in your everyday life that day. It's the one day a year when you have the most daylight as physically possible, so what better way to celebrate than to just sit back and think about how precious and fragile life can be?
2. Visit Stonehenge
In the UK, Stonehenge is one of the region's most beloved, mysterious, and oldest landmarks. It is especially important during the summer solstice, since it is angled directly towards the sunrise. Thus, many civilians flock to the landmark to commemorate the beginning of the day with the most daylight in the northern hemisphere. Take part in this proud tradition!
3. Light a bonfire
Lighting a bonfire is a traditional celebration of the summer solstice in the UK. It's also an important aspect of midsummer festivals in Europe, since in the pre-Christian eras, villages would light bonfires and candles in order to dance all night long. There would also rituals to celebrate the power of the sun, as well as feasts. This is why midsummer festivals in the modern era center largely around lighting bonfires, since it's considered a celebration of the sun.
4. Visit the Golowan festival
The Golowan festival is a midsummer celebration held each June in Cornwall, England. The festival includes fireworks, traditional music and dancing, parades, and a feast. Golowan is particularly popular among observers of midsummer because Cornwall is among England's most idyllic settings, as well as having strong ties to its local traditions and roots.
5. Explore the English countryside
Since midsummer is all about celebrating summer, nature, and the world around you, what better excuse to take a drive or a stroll through the English countryside to see all that nature truly has to offer? Especially since the UK as a whole has countless landmarks and historical homes, even a brief to the countryside is a great way to honor history and the extra sunlight.