The Summer Solstice is the celebration of the longest day of the year. Here are 10 creative ways to celebrate with the whole family!
The Summer Solstice, also know as “Midsummer” or “Litha” in traditional Pagan cultures, marks the longest day of the year. It’s been celebrated for hundreds of years by many different cultures around the world. It’s a day for celebrating, rejoicing and honoring the sun for the warmth and bounty that it gives us. If that isn’t a perfect occasion for a homesteader to celebrate, I’m not sure what is!
Since I’ve started homesteading, I’ve been continually drawn to Pagan holidays, which encourage a connection with the earth and the seasons. Pagan celebrations are all about mindfully taking the time to observe, celebrate and connect with the earth around you!
Regardless of religion or beliefs, the Summer Solstice is the perfect opportunity for all of us to take some time out of our busy lives to enjoy all the goodness that summer brings us! The Summer Solstice happens every year in June, usually around the 20th or 21st.
Here are 10 ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice this year!
Create a fairy garden
Fairies have been a symbol of the Summer Solstice for centuries. Invite some into your garden by creating a fairy garden! You can make one using any container, small or large! Fill it with soil and some small plants. Create houses, fences and walkways out of natural items you find around your home and garden!
Make it a celebration: Invite friends and family over for a make-and-take fairy garden party! Both kids and adults will love creating a mini oasis to welcome fairies into their own garden!
Feast with friends and family
Feasts have been a traditional way of celebrating the solstice for hundreds of years! Gather your friends and family and prepare a special dinner. Enjoy your meal outside and watch the sun set on the longest day of the year! Or, pack a picnic and find a special spot to enjoy your evening meal!
Make it a celebration: Use as much locally grown produce and foods as you can find for your feast! Practice seasonal eating by eating fresh foods that are growing in your area during June. If you need some inspiration, check out these ideas for beautiful and fresh Summer Solstice meal ideas from All Things Good!
Gather around a bonfire
Celebrate the longest day of the year by extending the light into night! Gather family and friends (and some yummy snacks, of course!) and light a fire! Roast marshmallows and tell scary stories. Or, simply enjoy the crackling of the fire with the one you love while sipping some mead or wine.
Make it a celebration: In the days of old, English villagers would light a bonfire on the eve of the Summer Solstice as a way to ward off evil spirits. While you might not be worried about evil spirits, there are probably some things worrying you and weighing you down. Use this time to release them and focus on a new start! If you want, you can even write them on slips of paper and then place them in the fire as a symbolic way of letting go and starting fresh!
Make a bee waterer
While the sun might be the historical bell of the ball on Solstice, I think the bees deserve equal praise! Celebrate the bees and all the work they do for us by creating a bee waterer. They are easy to make by filling up a saucer or shallow container with water. Place half-submerged pebbles in it so that the bees can land on the rocks and drink from the water. Here’s an adorable example from Cozy Little House!
Make it a celebration: Your buzzing bees will find the water in no time! Sit quietly and watch as they come and go. This type of mindfulness helps soothe anxiety and promote calmness. If you have children, encourage them to observe the bees and learn how to sit calmly when a bee approaches. This can be scary at first for children, but soon they will learn to identify bees as friends and helpers!
Make flower crowns
Flower crowns and daisy chains have many meanings in traditional Summer Solstice celebrations. Most importantly, adorning yourself with a flower crown is a great way to enjoy the bright cheeriness that summer brings us! After all, it’s hard to be upset about anything when you’re wearing a crown of flowers! This is a great tradition to do with little ones as well! Here are some step-by-step instructions from Lavender Moon to make your own flower crown!
Make it a celebration: Adorn yourself and your home with flowers for the Solstice! Flowers are said to have uplifting energy and the ability to cheer us. Make a fresh bouquet, wreath or flower crown to share with someone who needs a little cheer!
Gather herbs and make jelly
Nothing is quite as magical as gathering herbs, with all their healing powers! Why not collect some herbs from your garden and preserve them to enjoy all year! Herbal jellies are delicious and easy to make! Check out this recipe for herbal jelly from Pomona’s Pectin. If you have mint available, try this recipe for Mint Lemon Jelly with Honey. It’s one of our absolute favorite jelly recipes and we make it every year! It tastes like sunshine in a jar!
Make it a celebration: Invite a friend over and share the bounty of your herb garden! There’s nothing more fun than canning with someone you love. Or, make your jelly and create some pretty labels for it. Give it out as gifts to those who need some extra sunshine in their lives!
Savor a sweet treat
Honey cakes are a traditional treat made for the Solstice. People would make the cakes and leave a bit of the sweet treat in their gardens as a way to entice fairies! How fun is that?! MoodyMoons shares a beautiful and delicious recipe for honey cake in this post!
Alternatively, why not whip up one of your favorite baked goods, like scones or shortbread cookies! To add a fun Solstice touch, try adding some beautiful edible flowers to it like lavender, calendula or heartsease!
Make it a celebration: Say a quick “thank you” or send a blessing to the bees, the sunshine and the earth as you nibble on your sweet treat!
Go for an evening nature walk
Get out and enjoy the longest day of the year! Take your family or your sweetheart with you, or just spend some time by yourself in nature. If you are able to, watch the sun set before heading home!
Make it a celebration: If you are walking alone, practice mindfulness on your walk. As you are walking along, practice clearing the thoughts from your mind and focusing only the sights, sounds, smells and feel of the things around you. If you are walking with children or others, this is a great time to teach them about nature. Point out flowers, trees and bushes and try to name them. Use an app like LeafSnap or iPlant to identify as many as you can!
Brew some sun tea
Why not use the extra sunlight to brew a batch of herbal or floral tea? Sun tea is easy to make and you can use fresh ingredients from your garden! I love combining all variations of herbs, flowers, berries and fruit into my sun teas. The ingredients vary based on the time of year and what’s in season, making each batch a special celebration of the season!
Make it a celebration: As you sip your tea, enjoy the flavors of the season and use the time to reflect on everything you’re grateful for!
Spend time in a garden
Spend the extra daylight hours in your garden. Digging in the earth is scientifically proven to make you happy! Depending on where you live, it’s probably not too late in the season to plant some new flowers or veggies. Or, visit a nearby nursery or garden and enjoy the beauty!
Make it a celebration: Instead of focusing on the weeds and all the work you need to do, take some time to rejoice in your garden victories – no matter how big or small! Enjoy a glass of wine and watch the insects and plants dance in the breeze. Breathe deeply and savor the moment!
How do you celebrate the Summer Solstice? Share in the comments!