International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice

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2024 Date21 June 2024
2025 Date21 June 2025

International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice

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International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice

The International Day of Celebration of the Solstice is a global observance that recognizes and appreciates the natural cycles of our planet. By paying homage to the solstices, this event promotes the interconnectedness of humanity with the Earth, seeking to foster greater harmony and understanding between people and the environment. The observation encourages learning about the cultural, scientific, and religious significance of the solstices, which have been celebrated by diverse societies throughout history.

While the contemporary observance of the International Day of Celebration of the Solstice does not have a long history, its roots lie in ancient, time-honoured traditions. For the Australian context, the solstices have particular relevance as they coincide with the seasonal shifts experienced throughout the continent. Additionally, the solstices hold deep meaning for Indigenous Australians, who have long observed these celestial events and incorporated them into their rich cultural heritage. By participating in the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice, Australians can learn more about these Indigenous perspectives and appreciate the immense natural beauty unique to their country.

In Australia, customs and activities to mark the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice vary in scope and nature. Some communities choose to hold educational events and lectures focused on the scientific and cultural aspects of the solstices. Others engage in traditional Indigenous ceremonies, paying respect to the spiritual significance of the solstices. Outdoor gatherings, such as picnics, hikes, or dance performances, are also popular in the country, enabling people to connect with the Earth's rhythms more intimately. The International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice takes place on the days of the solstices, which occur around June 21 (winter solstice in Australia) and December 21 (summer solstice in Australia).

Facts about this day

  • The word solstice comes from the Latin sol, meaning sun, and sistere, meaning to stand still.
  • The summer solstice is the day with the longest period of sunlight.
  • Inside the Arctic Circle (north of 66.5 degrees north) and the Antarctic Circle (south of 66.5 degrees south), there is a period in winter when the sun does not rise, and a period in summer when the sun does not set. These are known as Polar Night and Midnight Sun respectively.
  • For Indigenous Australians, the solstice holds spiritual meaning tied to the changing seasons and the interconnectedness of nature. Seasons are identified based on the changes in climate, animal behavior, and plant life, rather than the duration of sunlight.
  • Daylight hours are longest in the southern regions during the summer solstice, with Hobart experiencing up to 15.5 hours of sunlight, while Darwin only has around 12.5 hours of daylight on the same day.

Top things to do in Australia for this observance

  • Enjoy the summer season by planning a trip involving the outdoors. You could go hiking, fishing, or swimming.
  • Visit Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England to witness the summer solstice like never before. There are live streams available online if traveling isn't an option.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about the history of astronomy in Australia. Here are our suggestions:
    1. The Skies of Australia – This documentary focuses on the beauty of Australia's night sky and covers different aspects, including seasonal changes like the Summer Solstice.
    2. Barumbi: The Imagination of a Lost Australian Cosmology – This documentary explores the cosmological beliefs of the various Indigenous cultures in Australia.
  • Celebrate the summer solstice with a popular Australian dish. Here are some recommendations:
    1. Grilled Prawns- Marinate them in garlic, lemon, and chili before grilling, and serve with a side of aioli or tartar sauce for dipping.
    2. Barbecued Lamb- Marinate it in garlic, rosemary, and olive oil before grilling it on the barbecue.
    3. Aussie Burgers: Australian burgers typically include a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, cheese, bacon, and grilled pineapple, as well as pickled beets and a fried egg.

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