Sunday Summer Solstice - Wilderness North

Celebrating 30 Years of Wilderness North  –          

Sunday Summer Solstice

299The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, is the first official day of summer and the longest day (and shortest night) of the year. The term solstice comes from the Latin words for “sun” (sol) and “standing still” or “stoppage” (stice). On this longest day of the year, the sun appears as if it were standing still in the sky. There were big celebrations in Northern Europe, many of which go back to ancient pagan times and incorporate bonfires, dancing, feasting, and staying up all night to welcome the dawn. One of the biggest destinations for the summer solstice is Stonehenge in England; it is the place for New Agers such as neo-druids, neo-pagans, and Wiccans to gather, along with college-age revelers, wholesome families, romantic couples, and shoestring backpackers. And it’s the only day of the year the park service offers free parking, free admission, and the opportunity to stay at the monument overnight. The day is also celebrated in China by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light. It was celebrated here in the boreal forest by fishing – in daylight -until almost 11pm – with the 10:10 sunset – and very long dusk. No one had to tell us it was summer with very high – summer like- temperatures (88) throughout the day. 

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