We dream of summer all year round: swimming pool, sun, beach… And it is about to arrive, finally. For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, summer officially begins on June 21. In this post we tell you what the summer solstice is and how you can enjoy the magical night of San Juan with your sons and daughters.
At the summer solstice the inclination of the northern part of the Earth’s axis towards the Sun. It is the highest of the year. This means that we are closer to the Sun and that, therefore, its rays reach the northern hemisphere more directly.
Furthermore, June 21 is the longest day of the year and the shortest night. In the southern hemisphere, just the opposite occurs, the winter solstice occurs, and it is the shortest day of the year.
Many cultures, throughout history, have celebrated the summer solstice, from the Egyptians to the Incas, with meals, offerings and ceremonies of various kinds.
One of the best known places in this regard is Stonehenge in England. It is a monument of megalithic stones that is considered the first monument to appear in Europe about 5,000 years before Christ. Its use is not very clear, but it is known that farmers held ceremonies to celebrate the harvest season in summer and planting season in winter. At the summer solstice the Sun crosses the circle and hits the so-called heel stone.
The night of San Juan, with the arrival of the summer solstice, is one of the most magical of the year. It is the night in which water, fire and plants are the main elements, and in which we can ask that our wishes come true.
We propose some fun activities that you can do to celebrate the summer solstice with your sons and daughters, always under the supervision of an adult and with great care:
Go To A Storyteller By The Bonfire: As we said at the beginning, fire is one of the symbols of the magical night of San Juan. Bonfires have long been built because fire is considered to be purifying. One activity that you can do with your sons and daughters is to go to a storyteller by the bonfire. Folk tales or legends can be used, for example.
Paint The Face Of Your Sons And Daughters: For this game of the night of San Juan you only need paints that can be used on the face and a lot of imagination. You can paint the faces of your sons and daughters as if they were their favorite animal or with figures such as moons, stars or rays.
Playing The Broken Phone Around The Campfire: This game is very simple, you just have to form a circle and sit around the fire. A boy or girl will give a message, only once to whoever is next to him and the language will be transmitted from one to another. The last person to receive it will say it out loud and it sure has nothing to do with the original.
Put A Sprig Of Mistletoe Under The Pillow: Plants are another of the magical elements of the night of San Juan and, for the wishes of the children to be fulfilled, it is enough for them to place a sprig of mistletoe under the pillow at night before going to sleep.
Wash With Spring Water: The third fundamental element is water. It is considered that, like fire, it purifies, and it is common to see people bathing in the sea on the night of San Juan. Another option is to wash your hands in a spring to make a wish and purify yourself. The rite of the waves is also usually done, which consists of approaching the seashore and jumping seven waves. If you don’t have a beach nearby, you can have the boys and girls do the jumps, carefully, in a basin at home.
Collect Magic Herbs: In relation to plants there are also traditions for the night of San Juan that children will love. You can go out to the fields and pick fennel, fern, St. John’s wort, laburnum, mallow, rosemary and lemon verbena. Next, you must collect water from seven different sources and put the plants in that water overnight. The next morning you have to wash your face with water and that way we will attract positive energy.
Burn The Wishes: In relation to fire, another ritual that can be done at home with care is to write the wishes on paper and burn them with a candle, always under the supervision of an adult. The magic of the night of San Juan will make our wishes come true.
Make a San Juan Lantern: In many films we have seen how lanterns are thrown into the sky on the night of San Juan, but since it is dangerous due to the risk of fire and also is not very ecological, we can choose another alternative: make a homemade lantern with recycled materials such as a bottle or a can and put a led light or a small candle and place the lantern on the table during dinner.
Eat Sweets From San Juan: In some autonomous communities with Catalonia or the Balearic Islands, special sweets are made for this time of year, such as the cocas de San Juan. Another good option is to prepare a good recipe for a family sweet for that night.
As you have seen, the summer solstice is a special occasion in which you can enjoy a lot of magic with your sons and daughters. It just takes a little imagination and a lot of desire to have fun and let the magic of the night bring us luck and good health.
Hi my name is Kristina Myers. Welcome to my hobby blog. Well, it's much more than a hobby blog. I couldn't contain myself to just talk about hobbies. I have broadened it right out cover anything that takes place around the home and enriches life itself.
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