The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, but that doesn’t mean it should be the most boring day of the year.
Celtic Pagans call the summer solstice Litha, and there are a myriad of ways to celebrate it.
1. Dance, dance, dance!
Litha is all about the raising of energy, since it’s the time when the world is the most warmed and alive from the sun. Hosting a drum circle, a dance party, or even just going to your local Irish pub and dancing to some traditional tunes is a great way to pay homage. Our ancestors would throw great festivals where music and dancing would be the norm. If your town has a renaissance faire, they’re always a good place to check out some traditional and awesome beats. Of course, you could also check out your local metal scene. Chances are, someone somewhere will be celebrating.
2. Do good with your family
When I was a kid, my parents made me donate toys, food, and time on Thanksgiving. It was a good practice to make me realize all that I had. But you don’t just have to wait for one day a year to do good deeds. Litha is the perfect time to help at your local soup kitchen, clean out your closet and donate what hasn’t given you joy in a while or volunteer. If that option is unavailable to you for some reason, you could always make good with your family. Call a cousin or sibling you haven’t talked to for a while. Sent a small, unexpected gift to someone you know could really use it.
3. Learn a new skill
For kids, June is when summer break starts, which means all learning is off. That doesn’t have to be so. Make a commitment to using Litha to start learning something new: a craft, an instrument, a trade, or start working on a new project. Begin writing a novel or painting a mural on your kitchen wall. Imagine what you’ll know after ten Lithas have passed by?
4. Enjoy nature
Litha is all about nature. It’s about our planet’s natural path coming to its warmest peak before descending into the cold. Take a hike with a loved one, rent a lakeside cabin, or plan a day at the beach if you’re lucky enough to live near the coast. You could also go to a zoo or botanical garden and find out what nature from all over the world looks like.
5. Set up a Litha Altar
Litha is all about bright, sunny colors, so when you go looking for decorations, candles, and motifs for your Litha altar, think yellows, oranges, reds, and greens. If you have a favorite mango candle, or a beautiful golden scarf, this is the perfect time to use them. You’ll also want to use sun symbols, which are thankfully plenty in the secular world’s summer decor. Look at Joanne Fabrics, Target, or Michaels’ for circular shapes, sun signs, or search online for the more pagan-appropriate symbols, like Brigit’s Cross. Flowers, fruits, and vegetables rom your garden are also most appropriate. I’m going to put a little bit of our homebrewed mead on ours this year for something extra special