How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Now that the spring equinox is behind us, it's time to start thinking about how you're going to commemorate the start of summer.


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You've waited all year and now it's here: summer vacation! We've got your checklist of must-do's.

You Will Need

  • Bonfire
  • Freshly picked flowers
  • Stonehenge visit
  • Maypole
  • Naked run


  1. Step 1

    Understand the solstice

    Understand what the summer solstice is -- in the Northern Hemisphere, it's the day when the North Pole is tilted closest to the sun, making it the longest day of the year.

  2. Step 2

    Have a bonfire

    Make a bonfire. Ancient civilizations believed that the fire they created would ward off evil spirits. Many cultures carry on this tradition today.

  3. Step 3

    Pick some flowers

    Pick some flowers. In medieval Europe, people believed that plants picked during the summer solstice had the ability to heal.

  4. Step 4

    Head to Stonehenge

    Visit Stonehenge, Britain's famous prehistoric stone monument. Because the structure aligns with the sunrise on the solstice, thousands of people gather there to celebrate the day by watching the sun come up.

  5. Other great destinations for celebrating the solstice include Sedona, Arizona, and Cairo, where an ancient sun temple was discovered in 2006.

  6. Step 5

    Dance around a maypole

    Dance around a maypole -- a flower and ribbon-festooned vertical bar. That's a cherished tradition in Sweden, where the summer solstice is a major holiday.

  7. Step 6

    Organize a naked run

    Organize a naked run -- if you can secure your town's permission! It's a new -- but increasingly popular -- ritual in Riga, the capital of Latvia, as part of their solstice festivities.

  8. "Solstice" comes from the Latin words "sol," which means sun, and "stare," to stand.