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Celebrate Summer Solstice Around the World With Us

By HarryFriday 21st July 2017

For many years, the summer solstice has been celebrated by many different cultures. In the UK, we’re most familiar with the celebrations at Stonehenge. But how is it celebrated in the rest of Europe?
The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs one day in late June and is the longest day of the year, granting us 16 hours of glorious sunshine, due to the tilt of the Earth on its axis. There is an association of magical goings-on with the summer solstice, with Pagans believing that it is on this evening when the veil between our world and another is at its thinnest, and fairies are at their strongest. If you want to celebrate the extra sunshine and journey further afield to mark the occasion, then you’re in for a real treat!

Croatia

In Croatia, they celebrate the astrological science of the summer solstice. Festivities take place at Astrofest, held at Višnjan Observatory. Here, astrology fans come together to watch the sunset, and stay up all night until sunrise the next morning. Throughout the shortest night of the year, people enjoy the entertainment underneath the starry night sky. For children, there is fairy fun and for adults, you can enjoy interesting lectures and new age music.

Iceland

Iceland chooses to welcome the summer solstice by staying up all night and listening to great music at the Secret Solstice festival. This is a relatively new festival, launching just a few years ago in 2014. Despite that though, the biggest stars feature on the bill, and music fans from all over the world flock to the site. On the solstice, due to Iceland’s geographical location, it’s almost constantly daylight. So, festival guests must be prepared to be up all night long!

Sweden

Sweden go all out for their solstice celebration! They celebrate it on a Friday around the solstice time, and it’s traditionally known as Midsummer’s Eve. If you’re celebrating Midsummer’s Eve in Sweden, you can expect a long night of drinking, singing, maypole dancing and live music. Attendees must wear a flower crown and learn the words to the traditional Swedish songs. You’re also expected to dance like a frog around the maypole, so it’s best to go all in. Midsummer’s Eve takes place in the countryside, so you’ll likely find that the cities are eerily deserted during this time. Swedes have been celebrating this festival for thousands of years, and consider it almost as important as Christmas. It’s a celebration of fertility, but if you don’t have a partner, pick seven different flowers, and sleep with them under your pillow. Tradition says that you’ll dream of the one you’re meant to marry.

Greece

While much of the population of Greece follows the Greek Orthodox Church, there are still some who believe in the Ancient Greek Gods, and on the solstice, they celebrate Prometheus, the Titan. According to Greek Mythology, he created humanity and gifted them fire, which he took from Mount Olympus. The solstice starts with six runners running six miles up Mount Olympus in tribute to Prometheus. The Ancient Greeks also considered the day after the solstice to be New Year’s Day.
Want to make your summer solstice magical? Explore our holiday destinations! It doesn’t matter how you’ll celebrate the summer solstice, only that you’re surrounded by friends and family!

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NEW FEATURES ON INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS IN 2018 - 8 nights from only £699pp

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