Most people associate the first day of summer with the 3-day Memorial weekend. But technically this year, on June 20, 2020, the northern hemisphere will officially begin the first day of summer. Staying light longer, the sun will finally reach the furthest northern point in the sky. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year. After the summer solstice, the days will begin to lose light.
Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
Different cultures have a wide range of traditions to welcome the summer. Unfortunately, due to recent health mandates, social distancing, and stay at home guidelines, many festivals and celebrations are canceled this year. But do not let all the restrictions keep you from celebrating the summer solstice.
- Go Hiking: Numerous parks are open to the public. Yes, social distancing still applies to the trails, but you still can enjoy the great outdoors. Hike a new trail. Spend an extra hour outdoors. Hiking is good for the entire family. Even young children can enjoy easy trails. Of course, don’t forget your dog.
- Go for a Walk: A simple walk around the block can be refreshing. Walk to your local park. The playground equipment may still be inaccessible. But enjoy the different paths throughout the park. If you are working, go for a short walk on your lunch break.
- Enjoy Nature: Take a leisurely stroll in your local park to enjoy nature. Take along binoculars and a camera to capture your view. If you are allowed, pick wildflowers, collect rocks, and other nature items to use for craft projects later.
- Meditate or Pray: Sitting outside in nature is the perfect time to reflect. Give yourself time to meditate or pray.
- Watch the Sunrise or Sunset: Taking a moment out of your day to simply watch the sunrise or set, gives you a chance to relax and destress.
- Cook a Feast: Okay, a simple BBQ or a picnic will do the trick. But cooking a meal and enjoying the celebration as a family is a great way to honor the changing season.
- Host a Bonfire: If you haven’t used your fire pit this year yet, the summer solstice is the perfect day to start. Build a small fire, watch the sunset, and marvel at the stars. Oh, and don’t forget the chocolatey, marshmallow goodness of S’mores.
- Celebrate Virtual: Due to restrictions, many popular sites, including Stonehenge, are celebrating the summer solstice online. Watch the sunrise or set, listen to music, or watch an event.
Regardless of the way you celebrate the solstice, enjoy the summer day. Summer goes by quickly. Soon, the cold weather will return.