Each year I get excited about the summer and winter solstices. Then I make a mental note that “next year my family and I will celebrate.” But what is a mental note without a plan? Not much. So this year, I decided, is the year the kids and I will celebrate the longest day of summer.
If you don’t know much about the summer solstice aside from the fact it’s the longest day of the year, I recommend doing some research. Each seasonal solstice contains a rich history throughout most parts of the world. From Europe to China to America and beyond, people commemorate the solstices in varying ways.
As I did my summer solstice research I noted the meaningful ways I wanted to acknowledge the warm sun, green earth, and life summer brings to humanity. One of the most tangible metaphors for the cycle of human life is found in the cycle of the four seasons. What better way to reflect than to celebrate each season four days a year?
3 Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
Ode to Nature
One way to celebrate Summer Solstice is to bake something using summer time ingredients. Nature’s gifts to us! For our celebration the kids and I decided to make honey cake and lavender lemonade. Between the scent of fresh lemons, sweet honey, and simmering lavender our house smelled divine.
The honey cake was a hit and the lavender lemonade was refreshing. I highly recommend both recipes.
Another way to be mindful of the love that summer brings is through artistic creation. There are a million and one ideas on the internet! Pick one or two crafts or art projects that you and your kids want to make on the longest day of the year. Don’t overthink it.
One project idea we had was to make a rainbow. I cut rainbow shapes from cardboard cereal boxes, mailers, and shipping materials. I gathered glue sticks, hot glue, sticker gems, colorful craft balls, and cut-up paint samples (my kids helped cut a bunch of paint samples in order to collage their rainbows).
I’m a believer in child-led learning. This means not giving many instructions. I presented the materials, reminded them of ROYGBIV, then let the kids have at it. Each rainbow turned out quite different, which we all loved!
Celebrate with Friends
Celebrations are always more fun with family, friends, or friends who are like family. So my kids and I gathered together with a few friends. Eating, conversing, creating, and running around outdoors are what made the celebration most special. My friend Alyxx took photos while I hosted the party. Our kids learned the meaning of summer solstice and then took part in giving thanks by existing in the moments of the day’s delights.
Offering gratitude for summer doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It was nice for my family to pause and reflect on how beautiful life is, in large part due to the cycle of seasons and the earth, but even more so because of human connection.
Your celebration doesn’t have to be Pinterest-worthy or full of lofty decor goals. Go to Trader Joe’s for a bouquet of sunflowers, decorate with candles you already own, gather whatever supplies you have in your art bin, and gather simple earthy ingredients for making or baking. The celebratory magic is in the moment while using all five senses!