Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice! The word solstice means “sun stands still”. At these times the Sun seems to change very little from one day to the next and appears to remain in one place north or south of the equator. Interesting…I didn’t know that. I do know that the Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year for daylight. Unfortunately, I have also heard it called the “Death of the Sun” because our days begin to get shorter and the nights longer. I do find comfort however, in the fact that the Winter Solstice is the "Rebirth of the Sun". Okay, I'm weird, what can I say.
Ancient Pagans celebrated the Solstice at Midsummer (3 days after, on June 24) with bonfires and couples would leap through the flames, believing their crops would grow as high as they were able to jump. My poor little garden needs me to leap VERY high I guess!
Another interesting fact is that all these weddings we see in June are because it was the time between the planting time (@May) and harvest time. It was believed that Beltane (May) was the marriage of the God and Goddess and it was bad luck to interfere with the deities, thus people married after that.
So many traditions in our lives are based on pagan celebrations and rites.
One last comment, according to Wiccan belief, to celebrate Litha we should focus outward and experience the joy of “plenty” in our lives. What a nice thought, to experience joy and have plenty.
May you all have plenty and live with ease.
"Solstice," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2009 http://encarta.msn.com.
“Summer Solstice” http://www.crystalinks.com/summersolstice.html.