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Discover how people celebrate summer solstice around the world...

The summer solstice is a magical, mystical time of year, steeped in history, symbolism and folklore. It’s the longest day and the shortest night, giving us the maximum number of daylight hours, so it’s been an important date in the farming calendar for centuries. 

Thousands of people flock to Stonehenge, Wiltshire to see in the solstice every year

The word solstice comes from the Latin words sol, meaning sun and sistere, to stand still.  Astrologically it occurs when the earth arrives at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt toward the sun, which is at its highest point in the sky. Astronomically it’s the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and it’s been celebrated since the Neolithic era, when sunlight would have been crucial for warmth and for helping crops to grow. Many Neolithic stone circles appear to have been built around the solstices, with stones carefully positioned to align with the sun’s movements. 

In ancient times, solstice was celebrated by lighting bonfires, intended to boost the sun’s strength for the remainder of the crop season and ensure a healthy harvest.  Vikings used the long days for hunting and conducting raids and the solstice is still an unmissable celebration in Scandinavia, with a focus on the healing powers of the natural world. 

New York Times Square goes from bustling to an abundance of calm on the solstice.

Each year, thousands of yoga enthusiasts flock to New York for the Solstice in Times Square event, finding calm in the city that never sleeps, with free yoga classes on the pedestrian plazas of Broadway. But for the majority of cultures around the globe, the celebration revolves around enjoying sumptuous feasts, lighting bonfires, singing and dancing to traditional songs, and reconnecting with nature. 

Modern-day Mayans in El Salvador celebrate the summer solstice by congregating at the ancient Maya site of Tazumal, where the Mayan descendants hold solstice ceremonies to help balance the energy of Mother Earth and to ask for abundant crops.  Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, is a sacred place, revered in Andean mythology as the birthplace of the sun. Legend has it that when darkness enveloped the earth, the gods chose the lake as the site of a new dawn. Today, thousands of indigenous people and travellers gather here to mark the solstice with ceremonies which include musical performances featuring drums and wind instruments, native dances and rituals to honour Pachamama (Mother Earth). 

The summer solstice falls between 20th and 24th June and this year it’s Thursday, 20th June, when we’re hosting a family-friendly celebration at FarmED where you too can connect with nature, enjoy an evening barbeque, meditation and music. You’re guaranteed a magical evening, spotting the abundant wildlife on the farm on a guided walk that takes in the heritage orchard, natural flood management, meadows and kitchen garden. We will be joined by our popular 'house' band D'Accord, who will be entertaining us, along with local wellness coach Sarah from Brave Kind Minds.  Find out more about our event by visiting our Summer Solstice event here.

Arrive for 6pm for the walk or a meditation session, followed by a farm-to-fork barbeque prepared by the cooks from the FarmED Cafe. There will be drinks and music until 9pm.


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