The summer solstice is said to mark the beginning of summer in some areas, while other parts of the world call it “midsummer.” The summer solstice usually falls between June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs between December 20 and December 22. Learn all about the solstice and welcome the summer with summer solstice celebration ideas!
Related: Winter Solstice Celebration Ideas
When is the Solstice?
There are 2 solstices in every calendar year; one is in June and the other is in December. The time that the solstice occurs is the same across the globe, while the season that you welcome depends on the side of the equator that you live on.
On the June Solstice, those in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate the summer solstice, while those in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate the winter solstice.
Summer Solstice 2018
In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice usually falls between June 20 and June 22. In the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice most often occurs between December 20 and December 22.
When is the Summer Solstice in 2018?
In 2018, the solstice will occur at 22:23 UTC (Universal Coordinated Time) on Thursday, June 21st in the Northern Hemisphere.
In the United States, the East coast will welcome summer on June 21st at 6:07 AM, while the west coast will welcome the summer solstice at 3:07 AM Pacific.
What is the Summer Solstice?
The summer solstice is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. After it occurs the days get shorter and shorter until the winter solstice.
The reason for this cool fact is a super fun science lesson for kids. It’s all about the tilt of the earth and its rotation around the sun in a single calendar year.
What Causes the Summer Solstice?
The summer solstice occurs when Earth’s axis or pole is tilted toward the sun.
Planet Earth is tilted at about 23.5 degrees. This means that at different times of the year, either the northern or the southern hemisphere is closer to the sun.
When the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun the United States and Canada experience the longer warmer days of summer, while those in the southern hemisphere experience the shorter colder days of winter and vice versa.
If you live in the Southern Hemisphere and will be welcoming the winter this June, pop over to have a look at our Winter Solstice Celebration Ideas.
What is the Solstice and the Equinox?
The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year. After the summer solstice, the days get shorter and shorter until the shortest day and the longest night of the year is reached on the winter solstice.
The spring and fall equinoxes occur in between the winter and summer solstices when day and night are said to be equal. Learn more about the spring and fall equinox at the links below!
What is the Name of the Longest Day of the Year?
The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year no matter which side of the equator you live on.
If you live in the northern hemisphere the longest day of the year is on or around June 21. In the Southern Hemisphere, the longest day of the year is on or around December 21.
How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
Today people around the world still celebrate the arrival of summer with outdoor feasts, singing, dancing, and bonfires.
18 Fun Ways to Celebrate the Summer Solstice in 2018
Make the most of the longest day and the shortest night of the year by celebrating the summer solstice with any of the fun ideas below!
1. Visit Stonehenge
Okay, so this is probably not something many of us would be able to do… but there really is no better place to celebrate a solstice!
2. Bathe in the Light of the Sun
Visit a beach, pool, or park and bathe in the light of the sun for 20-30 minutes. Your own backyard would also be perfect! Be sure to apply chemical-free sunblock so you don’t get burned!
3. Design a Flower Crown
Making a flower crown on the summer solstice is a traditional way to celebrate.
4. Make a Solstice Suncatcher
Suncatchers make a wonderful craft idea for the summer solstice. We love making suncatchers of all kinds to put in our windows and decorate our home. A suncatcher with a prism will help you capture the suns light to send rainbows all over the house, but the other ideas below are just as much fun!
- Rainbow Suncatcher with a Prism
- Heart Prism Suncatcher
- Flower Suncatcher Craft Ideas
- Rainbow Suncatcher Crafts
5. Get Creative with Sun Crafts
Make some easy sun crafts with your kids for a fun way to celebrate the beginning of summer. Click on the creator of the craft to see the step by step tutorial.
6. Do Some Gardening
Getting out in the garden is a great way to celebrate the summer solstice. Start a garden, bring new life to your garden by planting something new, or just spend some time tending it. Use the gardening tutorials below to get started!
7. Enjoy Other Seasonal Arts, Crafts & Activities
Creating summer arts, crafts, and activities is a great way to welcome the season. Here are a few to get you started.
- Make a butterfly tree or some Monarch butterfly peg dolls.
- Enjoy this awesome collection of Flower art projects.
- Make shell sunflowers and shell daisies.
- Four season handprint and fingerprint tree – This is a great activity to do with your child to introduce the idea of seasonal changes. Feel free to do all seasons or just a summer tree. (photo below)
- Make mud pie mandalas.
- Human sundial shadow science experiment (My daughter and I are doing this science experiment on the solstices and equinoxes to see how our shadows change not only throughout the day but throughout the year. It’s been a super fun learning experience for both of us!)
- Create shadow art.
- Make easy felt flowers.
8. Add Summer Decor to your Home
9. Read Books about the Summer Solstice
Help your kids understand what the summer solstice is all about. A few options can be found below:
- Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun
- The Midsummer Mouse: Midsummer Tales of Tiptoes Lightly and the Summer Queen
- The longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice (photo below)
10. Visit a local Farm
What better way to celebrate the sun than to eat juicy berries ripened by it? For more information pop over to read take your kids berry picking.
11. Have a Solstice Feast
Invite friends and family over for a solstice feast with seasonal local foods. Visit your local farmers market to gather all the goodies you need!
12. Attend a Bonfire
A bonfire is a great way to celebrate the solstice. Dance, sing, beat drums, play music, and celebrate the official beginning of summer.
Please be safe and follow city or county laws and regulations. For more information see 10 Tips for a Safe Bonfire with Kids.
13. Practice Yoga and/or Meditate
Did you know that the summer solstice has been named International Day of Yoga by the United Nations General Assembly? That makes this the perfect day to practice yoga! Sun salutations (sun salutes) are a great way to honor the sun on the solstice.
You can even attend the summer solstice in time square, where the participants practice yoga sunup to sundown! Not in New York? Participate via webcast.
Here I am… practicing yoga on Venice Beach where I used to work as an ocean lifeguard.
14. Review and Renew Goals
The solstice is a great time of year to do a quarterly goal review. Having a solstice gathering? Invite your guest to join you in this activity.
- Setting Goals
- Create an Action Plan to Accomplish Goals
- Why I turn my Goals into Affirmations
- Monthly Goal Review
15. Set Intentions
After doing a goal review write down your intentions. Think of an intention as things, ideas, or habits that you would like to bring into your life.
16. Begin Something New
Solstices and equinoxes are a great time to let go of the old and begin fresh. As the temperatures get warmer and people begin to spend more time outdoors it is a great time to begin a new project.
- Make a list of everything you’ve been wanting to do.
- Pick your top three choices.
- Make a plan to start one and go from there. Don’t know where to start? See Creating Positive Habits.
17. Establish a Daily Rhythm
Establishing a rhythm will help you get organized and provide a framework for your day. It will help your start fresh this season and find room to manifest your new intentions. Children also thrive on rhythm in the home. Check out How to Plan Your Daily Rhythm for more information.
18. Get Outside & Connect
Get outside and connect with what matters on the solstice. You can start by searching for signs of summer. For more outside activities and information about the Get Outside & Connect Series click on the link.
There are many ways you can celebrate the summer solstice. Getting outside to connect on the longest day of the year is what’s most important. Find a way that is meaningful for you and your family to celebrate the sun and all it brings to us.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, I would suggest checking out Rain or Shine Mamma’s “How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice.”
Don’t forget to check out our summer bucket list seasonal activity guide for more ideas!
If You Liked Summer Solstice 2018 Ideas, You may also Like
- Celebrate the Winter Solstice
- 11 ways to Celebrate the Fall Autumnal Equinox
- 7 Ways to Celebrate the Spring Equinox
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