This weekend is the Summer Solstice - the official start of summer and the day of the year with the most sunlight. It's a perfect time for camping and other outdoor activities, and a day that has long been heralded as a time of celebration for cultures around the world - including my own Irish heritage. Here in Alaska, we get close to 24 hours of sunlight this time of year, and though I'm looking forward to darker days (when I don't have to wear a sleep mask!) I also look forward to solstice every year and some of the amazing observances held around the world to welcome summer.
One of my bucket list items is to witness the midsummer sun rise behind the ancient stones of Stonehenge. Unfortunately, while the site is closed this year, for the first time ever audiences worldwide can watch the sun set on June 20 and rise on June 21 via streaming service! The live event will be held on Facebook from June 20 at 9:26pm BST until June 21 at 4:52am BST. The steams are about 30 minutes each and will be able to be accessed afterward as well. More info here.
One of my Swedish friends introduced Scandinavian celebrations of the Summer Solstice to me, which include everything from dancing and merrymaking to wreath-making, strawberry cake, and more. Luckily, no matter where you are in the world this weekend, you can celebrate the Solstice Scandi-style online here.
If you're looking for a little something to get you in the solstice mood, I recommend you check out Damh the Bard (pronounced Dave the Bard). Damh is a self-described "modern-day Bard" who expresses his spirituality and love of folk tradition through music, storytelling, and poetry. "Noon of the Solstice" is one of his creations, and a perfect seasonal tune to celebrate the natural world blooming around us.
If you're interested in learning about other Solstice celebrations around the world, or fun ways to welcome in the summer at home, check out this excellent resource here.