Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer Solstice Celebrations

For those to whom the summer solstice is important, I'm curious how you celebrate it.

As a Wiccan-ish nature-oriented neopagan, I definitely note "the wheel of the year", though with the emphasis shifted to the equinoxes and solstices (since I'm keenly aware of the amount of sunlight) rather than the crossquarter days (since I'm not a farmer nor, as a Manhattan resident, living in a society that's even vaguely agrarian). And being a warm weather person, the summer solstice is my high-holiest day of the year.

I do a "Longest Day" celebration every year: I get up before dawn and go outside to watch the sunrise, and then I'm not allowed to set foot indoors (except for brief bathroom breaks) until after I've seen the sunset. Mostly there's no agenda; just savoring life at its peak: the sights and sounds and scents, the breeze on my skin, sampling summer fruits and tall cool drinks, and generally indulging the senses. Usually there's a lot of walking involved (though this year I'm thinking of doing it on my bike) and exploring nooks and crannies of the city I've never seen before. It's deeply satisfying for me, a great way to slow the pace of life down and spend a day just "being", and I eagerly anticipate it every year.

Does anybody else do anything similar? Or something completely different?

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