NewgrangeTourism Ireland

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, 2017 at 12:24 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.

Events:

1) The Alzheimer's Association Greater Michigan Chapter on Summer Solstice

Why not celebrate the day while also raising money for Alzheimer’s?

2) The Solar Foundation in DC

Celebrate the longest day in the year by raising awareness for solar innovation.

3) Times Square: Summer Solstice

Join in on the fun tradition where New Yorkers spend their day doing yoga in Times Square to start off the summer.

4) Summer Solstice Celebration at New York Botanical Garden

Visit the gardens and enjoy live music, yoga, poetry and more on the special day.

5) Dublin Midsummer Medley: Three Irish poets for the Summer Solstice

If you happen to be in Dublin on June 22, try and snatch some tickets to hear some poetry to celebrate the occasion.

6) Austin Solstice Festival

If you’re in Austin,Texas, celebrate the Solstice with the annual music festival.

7) University of Wyoming Art Museum Celebration   

Enjoy a unique experience at University of Wyoming where they celebrate the Solstice through an architectural experience where a single light beams on a silver dollar.

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