The summer solstice marks the true beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, where days are longer than nights and winter is a far, distant memory. This year the solstice begins on June 20th around 5:34 pm CDT.
As the longest day of the year, the summer solstice is rife with tradition and has been celebrated by societies dating back to ancient Egypt.
While we may not use the summer solstice to mark a new year like the ancient Egyptians, the celebrations do all center around the same principle of honoring the sun and the gathering of the community. From bonfires and flowers to maypoles and festivals, every country has their own unique way of celebrating Midsummer.
Start your own tradition by hosting a gathering to celebrate the longest day of the year and the official start of summer.
How can you get started?
1. Prepare summer-inspired snacks
Focus on light, seasonal foods that make you think of summer. We love this list of quick and easy recipes that Martha Stewart put together for summer parties. For dessert, consider baking a cake instead of purchasing. You can’t go wrong with this swoon-worthy strawberry recipe.
2. Make a signature drink
Instead of having a fare of your usual options, create a recipe just for the event. The unique drink will help give the party a sense of occasion and make your guests feel even more welcome and festive. So what should you make? A summer-inspired sangria is always a refreshing option. We also love this list of non-alcoholic summer drinks (especially the ginger basil grapefruit spritzer).
3. Take time to decorate
This is where you can really get creative. Traditionally, Midsummer mingles incorporate elements of nature to create a lush surrounding. You tend to see a lot of flowers, garlands, and wreaths. If you’re hosting your party later in the evening, hang a few paper lanterns to create a cozy atmosphere. For a more budget-conscious alternative, repurpose mason jars and simply light a candle inside each glass for a rustic, soothing vibe. If all else fails, light a candle or two.
4. Plan an activity
Make sure you take the time to really enjoy the day! One way to guarantee a great time is to prepare a few activities for your guests. Making a flower crown is a popular summer solstice party activity because it brings you right back to nature. Don’t want to make your own crown? A cheaper (and easier) alternative is to provide these gorgeous printable crowns. Either option ensures that your guests will feel festive and have a great time.
Are you celebrating the Summer Solstice? Leave us a comment on how you plan to party!