Little tid-bits of information about the Shenandoah Valley's past, present and future!
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. The word solstice derives from the Latin “sol” for sun and “stice” which means to stop. Summer Solstice occurs at the mid-point of summer, or mid-summer (May 1st – Aug. 1st).
A major celestial event, summer solstice has been celebrated for millenniums. Stonehenge was built around 3100 BC and reflects the summer solstice from its center. The Druids termed the day, “the wedding of heaven and earth,” which is the reason weddings are still so popular in June. A June wedding is supposed to be a lucky wedding. The ancient Chinese used the day to celebrate the earth, femininity, yin, and the Chinese Goddess of Light, “Li.” Native Americans celebrate the connection of the heavens and the earth with dance and fasting.
After the spread of Christianity, in Sweden the day became known as St. John’s Day, June 24th, to honor St. John the Baptist instead of the pagan gods.
Needless to say, the day should be celebrated with flowers, especially white elder blossoms and any yellow flowers, plus feasting, bon fires, dancing, sun rise gatherings, the drinking of mead and other forms of merriment.
Don’t forget to leave an offering for the faeries!