Summer solstice is celebrated by millions of people around the globe to give thanks to mother earth and the longest day of the year as the sun has reached its highest and most northern point in the sky. This day often brings people together for rituals and festivals around the globe, though all large gatherings have been cancelled for this year.
This year, the summer (June) solstice begins at 5:44 pm on June 20, with the eclipse expected to take place at 2:40 am on June 21. This type of eclipse is annular - which means that the moon does not fully cover the sun, but rather leaves a ring around the moon that represents the ”ring of fire”. Unfortunately, in North America we will not be able to view the eclipse, though it can be viewed online!
What does solstice mean ?
Solstice is derived from the Latin word solstitium - which means sun stopped. It was believed that at this point of the year (prior to modern science) that the sun would stop and reverse its rotation. Since the angle of the sun is at its highest point on this day, take a look at your shadow, you’ll notice that it is much shorter than usual. This day, Summer solstice officially marks the first day of the summer season, so bring on the heat!
Why is this day celebrated and where?
Typically people gather at Stonehenge in England to celebrate midsummer. This is because of the great history of the site as a believed astronomical calculator over 5000 years ago, and during the sunrise on summer solstice the Heal and Slaughter stones line up with the rise of the sun. When the sun reaches its highest point of the day, it directly hits the center Altar stone at this historic site. This date has been celebrated for years worshiping the sun and adding to the suns energy, traditionally people will have bonfires on this day to contribute to the heat and glow of the sun. The sun is a representation of beautiful strength and life giving power, for without the sun, the earth would have no life. For some, they view the sun as the goddess and that during summer solstice the god and goddess are married as one to provide harvest and bring forth more life on planet earth. The ultimate intention behind these celebrations is to thank and acknowledge life and growth, but also to inspire reflection and recognize that from this point forward the sun’s presence will decrease.
In some places like Alaska and Iceland they will receive close to 24 hours of daylight on this day. For us, in Southern Canada, we can expect anywhere from 15-17 hours of daylight.
The start of a new season is a great time to set intentions moving forward. Take time on June 20 to reflect, reset, reevaluate and recharge for the coming months. Set goals and intentions for yourself over the next 3 months of summer and give thanks to the sun for the life that exists around you and within you.
We can thank the sun and earth daily for providing us with life, and a great way to do so is with some refreshing drinks to enjoy in the sunshine on summer solstice. With June 20, summer solstice quickly approaching, we at The Healthy Garden wanted to provide you with some fun summery drink suggestions using your fresh herbs straight out of the garden.
These drinks are appropriate for any age, though with a slight addition of one ingredient can quickly become a refreshing cocktail.
Basil is a great addition to so many dishes, but did you know it is also delicious in a drink? This summary herb can be picked from your garden once it has reached 6-8 leaves on each stem.
Mix 1 cup Orange juice,½ cup of sparkling water (I personally love flavored with lemon or lime), a few slices of cucumber and ¼ cup of basil.
Another great drink you can make is a mixture of lemon, basil and mint. Mix 1 cup of water, 2 teaspoons of honey, ⅓ cup of fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of basil, 2 teaspoons of mint and 2 cups of sparkling water.
Mix 1 cup of lemonade, ½ cup of sparkling water and ¼ cup of mint leaves in a shaker cup.
Mix ¼ cup of fresh squeezed lime juice, 1 cup of soda water, 6 raspberries, 3-4 leaves of Sage & 2 teaspoons of sugar to sweeten it up (optional).
Mix ½ cup of chopped cucumber, ¼ cup of cilantro, ¼ cup of lime juice and 1 cup of soda water.
Another alternative is to blend 3 cups of cubed watermelon, ¼ cup of loosely packed cilantro leaves, 1.5 cups of water and ¼ cup of lime juice and blend on high for 30 seconds.
Mix 1 cup of lemonade, ½ cup of sparkling water, a handful of parsley.
If you’re more of a tea drinker, since the sun will be shining bright throughout the day you can put together your favorite herbs and tea mixtures in a mason jar of room temperature water and leave it outside for the day. This will cause the herbs to slowly steep throughout the day giving the water a delicious healing flavor.
Some of my favorite combinations are: