International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice

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2023 Date21 June 2023
2024 Date21 June 2024

International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice

The International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice is a significant global observance that seeks to unite people worldwide in commemorating the natural event of the sun's annual path reaching its northernmost or southernmost reach. Through this observation, an increased recognition and appreciation of the world's cultural and religious diversity is fostered, bringing to the fore our shared values and the ideals of peace, harmony, and unity. This day serves as an opportunity for people from different cultures to highlight their unique perspectives and to understand the universal significance of the solstice across the world.

India is home to diverse traditions, numerous ethnic groups, and a rich history, with many cultural festivals closely tied to natural cycles. Observing the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice allows Indians to engage in a global platform that acknowledges and celebrates our shared values as well as our local uniqueness. It encourages us to contribute to the international dialogue on how the solstice has been observed in different civilizations across the world.

In India, several customs and activities mark the observance of the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice. Communities may gather together to share stories, perform traditional dances, and participate in rituals that reflect their cultural diversity and the significance of the solstice in their lives. As a global celebration, the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice occurs twice a year, following the summer solstice on June 21 and the winter solstice on December 21. These dates may encourage people in India to not only commemorate the solstice but also engage in meaningful exchanges with the global community to promote understanding and harmony among diverse cultures.

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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.
  • Archeological discoveries in Burzahom, a Neolithic settlement in the Kashmir region of India, suggest possible early solstice observances. Excavations have found an ancient stone structure resembling Stonehenge, with stone alignments indicating possible links to the winter solstice.
  • The summer solstice in India also marks the beginning of the monsoon season or Varsha Ritu. This is a vital period for agriculture as it brings life-giving rains to rejuvenate the soil and support crop growth.

Top things to do in India 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.
  • Have a bonfire. In some parts of India, people light bonfires on Summer Solstice night to celebrate the victory of light over darkness and to purify the surrounding environment.
  • Bathe in a holy river. Many Hindus, especially in North India, believe that taking a dip in the holy rivers such as the Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati on the Summer Solstice can bring them good luck and karma.

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