Summer Solstice celebrations date back to ancient Ireland. Here's how to mark the longest day of the year the Irish way. 

The Summer Solstice is celebrated across the globe for varying spiritual reasons. You may be most familiar with Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in England that is a popular location to celebrate. Among regions of the world that celebrate this day, Ireland sees it as Midsummer and a time to celebrate historical sites, the arts, and culture. Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and is an indicator of the summer season’s arrival.

The importance of Summer Solstice ties back to ancient Celtic society’s reliance on agriculture and crops. The reliance and appreciation for the sun is what brought people closer to nature and furthered the understanding for the environment. Through suffering and hardships during the winter months, the Solstice became an important celebration for success and ease during the summer.

The celebration of Summer Solstice in Ireland is tied to their ancient landmarks. Ireland has one of the most prominent Neolithic sites known as Newgrange. It dates back to 5,000 years ago and is a popular tourist location. In the same area in Co. Meath, there is the Hill of Tara which has tons of links to Irish folklore and is a popular location to celebrate the solstice.

Hill of Tara.

Hill of Tara.

Midsummer festivals and bonfires have been a tradition in Ireland since pagan times and it continues to thrive. Before environmental concerns over fumes from bonfires brought in certain rules, communities across Ireland would light a flame in celebration of the day. The tradition still lives on throughout Ireland with a few restrictions of times of day when bonfires are allowed.   

Read more: Summer solstice celebrated at Hill of Tara and around the country

This year, Summer Solstice falls on Wednesday, June 21, 2018 at 6:07 am EDT. There are tons of ways you can celebrate the longest day of the year and delve into the Irish culture, even if you are not in Ireland.

  • Have a party and invite people to celebrate it the Irish way with bonfires, good food and delving into the Irish culture.
  • Visit your local Irish center or arts center.
  • Feast on a big Irish meal filled with meat, potatoes, and veggies.
  • Listen to some traditional music in your local pub.
  • Embrace the culture and try a new something new. How about some Irish dancing lessons or music lessons?

Across the United States and Ireland, there are different events dedicated to Summer Solstice that encompass a variety of cultures and differing ways of celebrating the day.

What do you plan to do this Summer Solstice? Let us know in the comments.  

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