100 days – Day 60: The Longest Day
preparing for the Summer Solstice with Spinal Tap
Today marks the summer solstice, marking the beginning of summer.
Saturday, 21 June, is the longest day of the year and is universally celebrated – as, in ancient times, solstices and equinoxes were a guide to understanding the passing of the Seasons.
The solstice and midsummer period was usually celebrated by Pagans commemorating the fertility of the season. However, its associations with life and nature are now celebrated by many and varied contemporary cultures.
Every year, thousands of revellers flock to Stonehenge in Wiltshire and UNESCO World Heritage Site, to celebrate.
Many summer solstice traditions include bonfires, originally a pagan custom, although it has been adopted by Christian denominations to celebrate Saint John’s Day. In Greece, men leap over the flames, while in Bulgaria, a barefoot dance on hot embers called Nestinarstvo is performed.
Many cultures celebrate the birthday of St John the Baptist, which is believed to coincide with the summer solstice, with food and drink – anyone for the Dance of the Seven Veils and a barbecued head on a platter!!!?
This is the day of Light – the brightest day – the marriage of Heaven and Earth
And then, it’s over….and we, dour Scots, will be heard muttering, “Aye, the nights are fair drawing in!”
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