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Whether or not you’re a fan of summer’s heat and hazy days, most people can get behind long, lingering sunsets and the season’s golden hour between about 6-8 PM most evenings. There’s something both refreshing and relieving about heading home from the office when the sun is still high in the sky and the winter darkness is a distant memory. As most know, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and it’s traditionally been celebrated as the beginning of a season of light and the potential for an abundant harvest. This year, the solstice will occur on Friday, June 21st, and we think it’s as good a reason as any to have a little celebration. Here’s our guide for your summer kick-off soiree.
The summer solstice is traditionally celebrated with Pagan rituals, often focusing on symbols of light and abundance, like celebratory fires, food, and merriment. Large communal events often take place, such as the one at Stonehenge, and the Pagan Spirit Gathering in rural Missouri each year. The celebrations often go on through the night, with a dedicated party of folks staying up to greet the dawn. While most of us won’t be taking a pilgrimage to Stonehenge, we certainly can take a page out of their book when planning our own festivities.
When it comes to hosting your own solstice celebration, you’ll want to be outside, as long as weather and accommodations permit. If you have the space for a bonfire or lighted lanterns, this can be a cozy and traditional way to celebrate the occasion. Plus, who doesn’t love a summer bonfire? If not though, there are plenty of other ways to incorporate light into your night. Try hanging string lights across your patio, balcony, or outdoor space for a warm, twinkling effect. Check out this post from The Spruce that outlines top picks for outdoor string lighting.
The typical summer solstice colors are earthy tones of gold, orange, yellow, and red to represent fire. Keep this in mind when decorating and choosing plates, napkins, and party favors. You can also incorporate these traditional hues into your food and beverage plan in a festive way. Try a strawberry-infused pitcher of water, or a summery sangria made with watermelon. For snacks and bites, you’ll want to incorporate fresh seasonal veggies and dips that will energize you and your guests and allow you to stay up celebrating through the night. Try this roasted vegetable flatbread that’s perfect for a crowd.
Depending on how traditional you want to go, there are plenty of solstice-related activities for you and your guests to enjoy. If you’re able to have a bonfire, many celebrations include a portion of the night where guests write down on a piece of paper what they most want, or most want to get rid of, and throw it into the fire. This can be both bonding and lighthearted, and is a fun little twist to introduce to your friends. You can also challenge each other to stay up celebrating until the sunrise, just make sure you have plenty of refreshments on hand before the night begins!
If you’re interested in finding a home to celebrate in this summer, contact us today at Olympus. Happy solstice!