Summer Solstice is seen across the world as a significant date. This is evident in the number of celebrations and festivals that fall close to this time.
The Christian feast of St John the Baptist falls towards the end of June. The Chinese hold the Festival of Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light around the time of midsummer. The Pagan festival of Litha is held at midsummer.
Many traditional midsummer celebrations involve the burning of fires to represent the sun?s powerful energy. Fire is used to ward off evil spirits and to add to the strength of the sun.
Choosing the location for Summer Solstice celebrations is important. Celebrations are traditionally held outdoors and fires are built on hilltops, close to water or other place of cultural significance.
Pagan celebrations in England are held at ancient sites that are of religious and sacred significance. The stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury are popular locations for watching the sunrise on Summer Solstice.
Celebrations around midsummer are accompanied with feasting, drinking and dancing and revelers often decorate themselves with flower wreaths.