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5 Healthy Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

June 20, 2014

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Tomorrow marks the summer solstice, the beginning of the summer season and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. This is a time of celebration and festivities that kicks off months of backyard barbeques, lounging by the pool, and fun get-aways with friends and family. In ancient times, the first day of summer marked the height of Midsummer frolics that often involved maypole dancing, fertility festivals, and the harvesting of special healing herbs. While summer solstice celebrations vary throughout the world, this astrologically powerful day can be the perfect time to rejuvenate your body and celebrate new beginnings! Below are some great ways to honor June 21st.

A Friends and Family Bonfire

Many parts of the world celebrate the summer solstice with bonfires, harkening back to the now antiquated practice of frightening away evil spirits with fire. Regardless of whether or not you believe in this particular myth, there’s no doubt that a bonfire brings people together. It’s perfect for roasting summer veggies and spending time with family and friends!

A Hike Under the Stars

If the weather is clear, the night of the summer solstice boasts some of the best starlight shows of the summer. It’s the perfect excuse to pack your telescope, flashlight, blanket, and beverage of choice, and head out for a hike under a canopy of stars. Bring a friend or your partner and watch as the night sky heralds the start of summer.

A Guided Healing Meditation

The summer solstice signifies both health and renewal. This is a great day to attend a yoga class, kick-start a mindfulness meditation routine, or return to chi-gong. Whatever your physical practice, try bringing a spiritual presence to it on June 21st. Activating your body’s internal healing centers is a powerful way to start your summer off strong.

A Dance Around the Maypole

Perhaps one of the more recognizable summer solstice activities, the dance around the maypole is a historic tradition that can be both giddy and rejuvenating. If your neighborhood doesn’t host a maypole event, consider making your own with family and friends. This is also a great activity to do with kids!

Plant an Herb Garden

While we sometimes think of spring as the time for planting, there’s still plenty of growing season left on June 21st. Many cultures consider the summer solstice to be a day bearing special healing properties. Commit to a healthier and more organic summer by planting an herb garden in honor of the summer solstice. Though our Medieval brethren placed special emphasis on medicinal herbs such as St. John’s Wort, you can also enjoy fresh basil, rosemary, and sage for your seasonal cooking all summer long!

How do you honor the sun? Tell us in the comments below!