Thanks to my Scandinavian mother, June 21st has always held a special excitement for me. The longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice is hugely celebrated in Scandinavian culture. Growing up, my mom always make a lovely meal full of the freshest fruits and veggies of the season to be devoured al fresco on our patio, or in the park for a picnic with my aunts and cousins. But the most special Summer Solstice of all was spent in the tiny coastal town of Barsebäck, Sweden. My cousin and I drank pear nectar barefoot while watching other little blonde kids run around a maypole shouting a language that only our mothers could understand. The endless daylight was bewitching and it was nearly impossible to lay down for bed while the sun lit up the night sky. Eventually I suppose we fell asleep, but the memory will linger just as the light did then.
I have not been back to Sweden since childhood but these days I continue to celebrate the longest day of the year no matter where in the world I happen to be. Here are just a few ways that I like to do it:
To continue my mother’s tradition, I take advantage of summer’s bounty and fix a feast, even if I am by myself. Some of my favorite seasonal ingredients are asparagus, radish, peppers, squash, shard and cucumber.
Go Swimming or Take a Walk
Even if you’re stuck in an office all day, take advantage of the extra daylight hours and get outside in the evening. I especially love to go swimming if I can, really channel my inner Swedish wood nymph... or or something.
Meditate & Manifest
The Summer Solstice is said to be a great time to harness the power of the sun towards manifesting your dreams. Well + Good has some great ideas on how to create an effective meditation or ritual.
Fresh Flowers for Everyone!
Nothing brings summertime indoors like a huge bouquet of flowers. Peonies have such a short season but they’re usually available in June. They are so lush and fragrant that if I see them, I buy them.
I also try to give flowers to a friend or neighbor to share the summer love.
Dream up A Lover
Speaking of summer love… In Greek tradition, tonight is the night when the single ladies will dream up their future husbands. If romantic love is your goal, here are a few rituals that you may want to consider.
Rose quartz is traditionally thought to enhance clarity in a relationship and either deepen love between partners, or illuminate essential truths by enhancing self love. So grab a stone and charge it under the sun’s long-lasting rays, then tuck it under your pillow in hopes of calling in your dream lover.