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Summer Solstice

June 20th is Midsummer’s day, the longest day and shortest night of the year, when the sun reaches its yearly zenith.  This is also known as the Summer Solstice and marks the official beginning of Summer.

For thousands of years this date has regarded as spiritually significant and duly celebrated. The Celts lit bonfires to mirror and amplify the sun’s energy; Christians celebrate the feast of St John the Baptist around this time and the Chinese hold the festival of Li, the Goddess of Fire and Light.

Today, neo-Pagans have revived the midsummer festival of Litha, celebrating the power of the Sun and the life force of nature. In Pagan mythology this marks the time at which the Goddess is at the height of her power and fertility and some Pagans view the solstice as the marriage of the God and Goddess, from which the force of life brings forth the harvest’s fruits.

Ancient religious sites like Stonehenge and Avebury hold huge festivals at this time but people around the country hold smaller celebrations, in gardens, parks and woodlands. 

The exact time of the Solstice this year is 23:59 on the night of June 20th.

Cl283_2A Wiccan prayer for Summer:   

    As the sun spirals its longest dance
        Cleanse us
    As nature shows bounty and fertility

        Bless us
    Let all things live with loving intent
        And to fulfill their truest destiny.

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