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 time solstice — the longest day and shortest night time of the 12 months 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 almost 16 hours later. In Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, will probably be darkish for 5½ hours.

For some cultures, the day has a mystical high quality to it. Completely different teams rejoice nature blooming for the beginning of summer time, whereas others worship the solar. Vikings and historical Egyptians celebrated the summer time solstice centuries in the past. In the present day, it is marked in quite a lot of methods in nations of the Northern Hemisphere.

Crowds gathered at Stonehenge June 21 to look at the summer time 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 Competition of Litha, a celebration of the solar’s powers. Followers of paganism don particular attracts and flower garlands, that are believed to repel evil spirits, maintain 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 “when you had 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,” in accordance with English Heritage, which takes care of a whole bunch of historical monuments and websites.

This 12 months, the celebrations of dawn at Stonehenge — which had been additionally streamed dwell for many who could not make the journey — had been additional particular, as a result of it was the primary time in two years that the traditional monument lifted pandemic restrictions on public gatherings.

The gang was various, in accordance with 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 time flowers,” Morris wrote of the scene. “Three Buddhist monks strolled previous whereas a gaggle 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 time 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, in accordance with the organizers.

This 12 months 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 folks to find new musical genres. The Paris Philharmonic Orchestra will play Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony underneath the Louvre pyramid, whereas the Eiffel Tower will host a competition of the Latin American dance Bachata. Organizers say greater than 18,000 gigs will likely be held worldwide.

June 21 can be the Worldwide Day of Yoga, celebrated in South Asia and world wide with mass yoga periods and academic occasions about the advantages of the observe.

Sweden and its Nordic neighbors rejoice 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 time 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 underneath their pillows on midsummer would dream of their future associate. And Swedish journalist Po Tidholm instructed Elle journal in 2019 that Swedes tends to drink extra throughout the vacation than they usually would — which might result in sudden romantic pairings.

“That, and the romantic really feel of a phenomenal and lengthy night time when the solar nearly does not set, used to make March 22, 9 months after Midsummer, the day when probably the most infants had been born in Sweden,” Tidholm instructed Elle. “That is not true anymore, although, since most Swedes are pragmatic sufficient to plan their pregnancies with a view to give start when it fits their work schedule.”

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