Saturday, 20 June 2020
Why not join us for our on-line Stonehenge Summer Solstice event on the big day!
This year Summer Solstice falls on 20th June 2020. It is one of an annual cycle of seasonal festivals known as The Wheel of the Year. Midsummer in northern Europe is the period of time centered upon the Summer Solstice, and more specifically celebrations that accompany the solstice or take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening. Dates vary among different cultures. These celebrations predate Christianity, and existed under different names and traditions around the world.
The June 24 was designated the feast day of the early Christian martyr St John the Baptist in the Christian Church, and the observance of St John’s Day begins the evening before, known as St John’s Eve, this is commemorated by many Christian denominations, such as the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran Churches, and Anglican Communion, as well as by freemasonry. The Midsummer is such an important festivity in Sweden there have been proposals to make the Midsummer’s Eve into the National Day of Sweden, instead of June 6. Midsummer festival in Latvia is the National Day of Latvia. In Norway and Denmark, it may also be referred to as St. Hans Day.
Some Wiccan traditions call the festival Litha and Modern Druids celebrate this festival as Alban Hefin, “Light of Summer.” At this time the sun is greeted and celabrated and it is seen as a holiday. While it is the time of greatest strength of the solar current, it also marks a turning point, for the sun also begins its time of decline as the wheel of the year turns. For Druid traditions it is arguably the most important festival of the year, due to the great focus on the sun and its light as a symbol of divine inspiration. Druid groups frequently celebrate this event at Stonehenge.