Happy Summer!

Hi, it’s Leslie Harris, and today is the summer solstice, also known as festival solstice or midsummer. Today is the longest day of the year. The Solstice was exact at 9:58 CDT, and the summer solstice has long been significant in many cultures.

For example, in Sweden, it is a major holiday, and the whole country closes down. Many countries in East Asia celebrate with dragon boat festivals, Iran celebrates Tirgan by splashing water, dancing and reciting poetry and serving traditional foods. In Northern Ireland, people celebrate The Day of Private Reflection.

And at Stonehenge in the south of England, pagans and partiers gather every year for a big celebration. On the summer solstice at Stonehenge, the sun rises behind the Heel stone and it’s very first rays shine right into the center of Stonehenge.

Today is also International Day of Yoga. This coincides with the Solstice. Yoga is an ancient tradition, that supports us both physically and spiritually. You probably have heard of Sun salutations. Well given that today is the longest day of the year, if you practice yoga, it would be a good day to do some sun salutations.

Do you do anything special to commemorate the summer solstice? Let me know in the Facebook comments.