The sun rose at 5:36AM this morning, and will bless us with over 15 hours of light until it sets around 9:03PM, as today is the magical Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and the first official day of summer. And just like a birthday girl in a special party dress, the weather for today implies that the sun wants to be worshipped; it’s going to be gloriously hot without a cloud in the sky to steal the attention. Here are a few ways to celebrate the solstice:
1. Salute the Sun.
Whether you’re an advanced yogi or someone that can’t even touch their toes, take a minute to face the sun, breathe deeply, and feel the warmth on your face.
2. Build a Solstice alter.
Grab a blanket, some flowers, candles, treats, or whatever you want, really, and build a place to worship (or curse) the extreme heatwave that is about to happen this week.
3. Make a Midsummer Night’s Dream come true.
One of the most magical things you can do in Toronto is help Canadian Stage celebrate the 30th anniversary of Shakespeare in High Park. The enchanted Shakespeare tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is on stage at the High Park amphitheatre from June 26th through September 2nd.
4. Build a Sunburst Clock and countdown until the next Summer Solstice.
Retro sunburst clocks and mirrors are gorgeous, but they can get expensive. Build your own by following these instructions. No excuses about not having time; it’s the longest day of the year.
5. Wear a floral crown.
You don’t have to be Swedish to celebrate Midsummer’s eve by wearing a floral crown. Weave a halo of real flowers or create a more lasting headpiece with these instructions.
6. Do Cartwheels.
Carthweeling down hillsides is a traditional Summer Solstice activity, honouring the wheel of life. While doing a cartwheel down the side of the Dog Bowl sounds dangerous, doing one on level ground just sounds fun.
7. Make a sun shaped Pinata.
Parks and pinatas goes really well together, didn’t you know? Make your own by following these instructions. Once it’s done, hang it from a tree branch, throw down a blanket, invite some friends and see who’s the strongest.
8. Grad your friend’s hands and DANCE.
Once you’ve finished looting the pinata and had enough libations, grab the hands of your friends and get them to dance in a circle. Get them to sing. Get them to feel ridiculous, but in a magical wood ritual sort of way.
9. Go get a Tarot reading.
What kind of pagan holiday is complete without a little insight into the past, present and future?
10. End the day by releasing lanterns into the sky.
Even after all that sun, a little light in the sky is a beautiful sight. Get your hands on some biodegradable sky lanterns, fill them with fire, hot air and wishes for the summer. Release.