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Summer Solstice

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The Summer solstice, colloquially known as Midsummer, is the one time of year when the earth tilts on its axis towards the sun, allowing the sun to reach its highest point in the sky and creating the longest day of sunlight. Those located at the North or South Pole will have have sunlight all day. This year the solstice lands on June 21st.

The word “solstice” comes from the Latin terms “sol” (the sun) and “stitium” (to stop), which reflects the fact that the sun appears to stop on this day. There are many celebrations worldwide, as various cultures interpret the event with holidays, festivals, parades and rituals.

In Sweden, celebrants sing and dance around a “maypole” decorated with flowers, a tradition promoting fertility. Midsummer was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strongest, so it was considered a good night to perform rituals to look into the future. Traditionally, young people pick bouquets of seven or nine different flowers and put them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming about their future spouse.
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At Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, thousands of people gather at the monument in wild clothing, to celebrate the longest day of the year in a place that is believed to have been used as a religious site by Britons millennia ago.

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Many summer solstice traditions include bonfires. In Greece, men leap over the flames, while in Bulgaria, a barefoot dance on hot embers .

However you choose celebrate, spend the day outside and enjoy the sunlight!

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