Meteorologically speaking, the start of summer is June 21 this year. The word “solstice” derives from Latin, meaning “sun stands still” because around this time, the sun appears to be standing still in the sky. The rest of the year, the Earth’s tilt on its axis causes the sun’s path in the sky to rise and fall from one day to the next.
Summer Solstice has been marked with a multitude of celebrations by cultures throughout history. Among these is Sankthans, or “Midsummer,” which is celebrated on June 24 in Scandinavian countries. In 2010, the people of Alesund, Norway set a world record for the tallest bonfire with their 132.71-foot celebratory blaze. In the UK, thousands gather at Stonehenge every year to watch the way the sun lines up with the prehistoric monumental stones at solstice; and in Alaska, they mark the occasion with a midnight baseball game.
In Flint, EmFlower, an urban cut flower farm (1623 Beach St.), will host its annual Summer Solstice Soirée. “Enjoy the start of summer and learn about efforts to empower and employ women through blooms! Family style garden dining in Flint!” To RSVP or for more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d rather celebrate by running in the sunshine, sign up for the Summer Solstice 6.21 Mile virtual race! The price is $17 and includes your Summer Solstice medal and bib. Plus, at least 15% of proceeds will benefit Kids Alive International, a charity that helps abandoned and orphaned children.
Into yoga? Begin the summer season at Yoga for Families, a free, all-ages class at Flushing County Park, Pavilion 1 on June 21 at 7:15pm. Bring your yoga mat or blanket and comfy clothes and increase your flexibility while reducing stress.
Let’s hope it’s sunny on Summer Solstice – it’s the longest day of the year!