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 yr 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, 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 timewhereas others worship the solar. Vikings and historic Egyptians celebrated the summer time solstice centuries in the past. In the present day, it’s marked in quite a lot of methods in nations of the Northern Hemisphere.

Crowds gathered at Stonehenge June 21 to observe 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 Website is aligned with the solar’s motion, in order that “in the event you 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, ”in accordance with English Heritagewhich takes care of a whole bunch of historic monuments and websites.

This yr, the celebrations of dawn at Stonehenge – which have been additionally streamed reside for many who couldn’t make the journey – have 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 widely known in 120 nations, in accordance with the organizers.

This yr 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 below the Louvre pyramid, whereas the Eiffel Tower will host a pageant of the Latin American dance Bachata. Organizers say greater than 18,000 concert events can be held worldwide.

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

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 historic folklore, those that put no less than seven completely different flowers below their pillows on midsummer would dream of their future associate. And Swedish journalist Po Tidholm informed Elle journal in 2019 that Swedes are likely to drink extra throughout the vacation than they usually would – which may result in sudden romantic pairings.

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

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