The summer solstice – a forgotten holiday

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Friday, June 28th, 2013 In Fun stuff By Eric Eissler
Temperatures are rising, the grills are sizzling, the kids are playing, summer is here! Summer officially started on 21 June, AKA the longest day of the year, even though it may have felt like summer long before. In the Nordic countries of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland the summer solstice is a major holiday (also celebrated, albeit to a lesser extent, in the Baltics: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Known as mid-summer, it is a major celebration that marks the longest day of the year. Thinking about it, in most of the western world, there are holidays usually positioned around the changing of the seasons: Easter for spring, Halloween (or All Saints’ Day) for fall and Christmas for winter. What happened to the holiday for the summer? Well, it appears that it was left out in most countries except for the Nordics. It is a shame because it is the longest day of the year and it is wise to make use of the extra light – this is very true of the Scandinavian countries as in some places the sun does not even set!

From Paganism to Christendom

As Christianity grew, the pagan holidays were absorbed and converted to portray Christian ideals. The summer solstice then became St. John’s Day, which is celebrated in various countries throughout the world, but lost in many central European countries due to the east/west split in the church and punishments that could be met if someone was caught celebrating.Amercian Flag Air Dancer sale The summer solstice is still observed by many around the world, but there are stillgiant inflatable advertising many who just let the day slip by without giving it a second thought. Next year, if you live in a country that does not officially observe the summer solstice, you should try to observe it. Have a party! Invite your friends! Most importantly, do something outside. Remember this is the longest day of the year and it won’t come back from another 365 days, so make use of the extra light!

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