Summer season solstice sparks celebrations at Stonehenge, in Europe

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Throughout the Northern Hemisphere on Tuesday, musicians shined their devices and youngsters 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 practically 16 hours later. In Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, it will likely be darkish for 5½ hours.

For some cultures, the day has a mystical high quality to it. Totally different teams have a good time nature blooming for the beginning of summer timewhereas others worship the solar. Vikings and historical Egyptians celebrated the summer time solstice centuries in the past. Right this moment, it’s marked in a wide range of methods in international locations 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 through 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 Web site is aligned with the solar’s motion, in order that “if you happen to 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 lot of historical monuments and websites.

This 12 months, the celebrations of dawn at Stonehenge – which have been additionally streamed dwell 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 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 remodel into live performance venues. The vacation is well known in 120 international locations, based on 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 beneath the Louvre pyramid, whereas the Eiffel Tower will host a competition of the Latin American dance Bachata. Organizers say greater than 18,000 concert events might be held worldwide.

June 21 can also be the Worldwide Day of Yogacelebrated in South Asia and around the globe with mass yoga classes and academic occasions about the advantages of the follow.

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 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 keeping with historical folklore, those that put no less than seven completely different flowers beneath their pillows on midsummer would dream of their future accomplice. And Swedish journalist Po Tidholm instructed Elle journal in 2019 that Swedes are inclined to drink extra in the course of the vacation than they usually would – which may result in surprising romantic pairings.

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

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