International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice

Quick Facts - CA

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2024 DateJune 21, 2024
2025 DateJune 21, 2025

International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice

International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice in
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The International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice is an opportunity to embrace and honor the natural cycles of the Earth. Acknowledging the significance of the solstices, the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice connects people across the globe in reflection and appreciation of nature's intrinsic balance. Throughout the day, participants learn about the essential roles of the solstices in shaping the planet's ecosystems, experience indigenous cultural practices and explore how the solstices have been celebrated throughout history in various societies.

As a nation with a wide range of seasonal events, Canada has a unique relationship with the solstices. The International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice encourages Canadians to gain a deeper understanding of the solstices and their impact on the country's diverse environments. Additionally, the observance provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn about cultural practices and traditions shared by Indigenous Peoples across the nation, recognizing and respecting their wisdom and understanding of the celestial phenomena.

In Canada, the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice is marked by various customs and activities, all tailored to enhancing participants' connection to nature and the wider universe. These can include guided walks, yoga sessions or meditations, storytelling events, workshops, and astronomical observations. Furthermore, Canadians can engage in artistic expressions, such as music, dance, and visual arts, that often have a central focus on natural themes. International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice is observed on June 21st annually.

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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.
  • Inuit in northern Canada celebrate the summer solstice by observing the midnight sun, where the sun does not set and remains above the horizon for a full 24-hour period.
  • The summer solstice is particularly significant for many Indigenous communities, as it represents the renewal of life, fertility, and the beginning of the summer harvesting season.

Top things to do in Canada 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 the solstice. Here are our recommendations:
    1. The Pagan Christ (2007) - This documentary explores the connections between Christianity and ancient pagan religions, with a focus on the significance of the summer solstice in various cultures.
    2. Wonders of the Solar System: Empire of the Sun (2010) - This BBC documentary delves into the power of the sun and its role in creating natural phenomena, such as the solstice.
    3. Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change (2010) - This documentary examines the impacts of climate change on the Inuit way of life and their connection to the natural world.
  • Celebrate the summer solstice by preparing a popular Canadian dish. Here are some suggestions:
    1. Grilled vegetable skewers- A mix of zucchini, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and red onions grilled to perfection on skewers. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic reduction or a chimichurri sauce.
    2. Strawberry rhubarb pie- A classic Canadian dessert with a sweet strawberry rhubarb filling, baked in a flaky pie crust.
    3. Poutine- A Canadian classic, serve a side of poutine with crispy french fries, cheese curds, and hot gravy to add a little indulgence to your summer solstice celebration.

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