Today, in the northern hemisphere, it’s the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. This day is recognised in many cultures around the world as a day of celebration. I chose to mark the day by making a simple summer solstice fresh flower mandala.
Did you know? The summer solstice, when the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer, isn’t always on the 20th June. It can fall on the 21st or even very occasionally 22nd June.
Yesterday, with the easing of lockdown, we were finally able to resume our qigong practice in the park. A small group of us met in a local park on the seafront and for an hour or so balanced our energy using this ancient Chinese practice, not dissimilar to Tai Chi. This morning, I awoke to glorious sunshine so hopped on my bike and cycled over to another nearby park, kicked off my shoes, and repeated many of the movements we’d practice the day before. I will admit I did feel rather self-conscious doing this on my own in a public place and that feeling was a little distracting – something I need to work on. I particularly wanted to practice qigong today, because it is the summer solstice which seems a fitting time to share the earth’s energy, both taking and giving back. And I wanted to do it in the park because the only outdoor space I have at home is covered in concrete. In the park I can go barefoot on the grass and feel more connected to the earth.
To celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, I took with me a few flowers that I picked at home and made a simple fresh flower mandala. You can read more about making nature mandalas here.
Once I’d finished my mandala and then my qigong, I left the mandala there so that anyone else who might pass that way could enjoy it too.
Celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge
Here in England, it’s a tradition to see in the summer solstice at the prehistoric site of Stonehenge in Wiltshire. While we can’t visit in person this year, we can still watch the sunset behind the stones later today and the sunrise over the stones tomorrow morning. You can join the Summer Soltice 2020 Live from Stonehenge from anywhere in the world from 8.30 pm BST on 20th June ready for the sunset at 9.26 pm and carrying on through until a little after sunrise at 4.52 am tomorrow.
However you chose to celebrate and wherever you are in the world, I wish you a happy solstice and a safe and healthy summer (or winter). I’d love to hear how you observe the June solstice.
Did you know? The solstice in June is the only day of the year when everywhere inside the Arctic Circle experiences 24 hours of daylight. While in the southern hemisphere, on the same day it is their winter solstice and inside the Antarctic Circle, there is 24 hours of darkness.