Happy summer solstice! To honor the longest day of the year, we’ve gathered some creative ideas to make your summer solstice special. Fun, easy ways to celebrate – for you and the entire family.
The word “solstice” is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). We invite you to embrace the stillness, warmth, and power of the sun.
1. Do Sun Salutations
Practicing sun salutations on the solstice will open your heart.
A sun salutation is a fundamental yoga practice. It’s a sequence that flows from one asana (or pose) to another, warming up the body and cooling the mind. A traditional solstice practice consists of 108 salutations, but you can do as many as feels good to you. If you can practice your salutations outside, under the sun, all the better!
>> For detailed instructions on sun salutations, check out Ashtanga Yoga by John. C. Scott.
2. Plant Sunflowers
Planting on the solstice will remind you how essential the sun is for growth.
Sunflowers are hardy, bright, and easy to grow. It’s fun to watch their yellow faces move throughout the day, following the rays of the sun. Starting seeds indoors is a great project for kids, too. Cut a milk carton in half, add some potting soil, plant your seeds, and in one week, you’ll have seedlings ready to plant in the yard or grow in your windowsill.
>> For information on turning your back (or front or side) yard into a garden, check out Small-Plot, High-Yield Gardening by Sal Gilbertie.
3. Make a Sun Print
Creating sun prints invites you to capture beautiful images using the power of the sun.
Sun prints are beautiful and easy to make. You can purchase sun sensitive paper at most craft stores. Then find a sunny spot, set out the paper, and place flowers from the garden or sacred objects from your home on the paper. That’s it! The sun will do all the rest, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind print to frame or give as a gift.
>> For more on harnessing the power of the sun (and other fun projects), check out Print Workshop by Christine Schmidt.
4. Brew Sun Tea
Brewing sun tea gives you the taste of summer in a glass.
Celebrate the longest day of the year with a tall, cool glass of tea brewed in the sun. It’s simple. Choose your favorite tea, put several tea bags in a large pitcher, set in the sun for two hours, then add ice and pour! The secret is to make it a little stronger than you usually would, so when the ice melts you have a perfect glass of tea.
>> Love tea? Check out Tea Party by Tracy Stern and Christie Matheson.
5. Practice Sun Meditation
Practicing sun meditation honors the sun and quiets your mind.
For thousands of years, people all around the world worshiped the sun. Take part in this shared human ritual with sun meditation on the summer solstice. Just before sunrise or just before sunset (or both!), find a quiet, comfortable spot to sit. Face the sun. Close your eyes. Breathe. Feel the sun on your skin. Follow your breath. Inhale the warmth of the sun. Exhale gratitude.
>> For more on meditation, check out The Tibetan Book of Meditation by Lama Christe McNally.