What is the Summer Solstice?

Summer Solstice

On June 21st the Northern Hemisphere will experience the longest day of the year, what we call the summer solstice.

What is the summer solstice?

The summer solstice usually falls between the 20th and 22nd of any given year. During this time, the Northern Hemisphere will reach peak sunlight and according to NBC Chicago, on the 21st this will occur at exactly 10:54 a.m. CST. This is considered the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

What is the point of the summer solstice?

Historically, the summer solstice has different meanings depending on cultures. Many cultures use it as a marker to determine when to plant and harvest crops for the upcoming seasons. Regardless of location, the summer solstice was generally celebrated with festivals, dances and different rituals.

Many famous archeological sites have also been associated with highlighting the sun during the summer solstice. Stonehenge is aligned with the direction of the sunrise on the summer solstice, although historians still have yet to pinpoint the exact meaning of the structure. And, the sun sets between the Great Pyramids of Khufu and Khafre on Egypt’s Giza plateau on the summer solstice. These sites aligning with the summer solstice note the importance of this time of year.

How should we celebrate the summer solstice?

People in the Northern Hemisphere generally hold outdoor celebrations to ring in the summer solstice. Mirepoix is partnering with Athleta and hosting a blindfolded beach yoga class on the 21st which invites students to create a deeper connection to the earth on this special day.

Many yogis will also face east the morning of the summer solstice and perform 108 sun salutations as a way to detox and reground. The number 108 is a sacred number that represents 108 malas, 108 sacred energy centers and more. These Sun A’s can be done individually, or as a group and help yogis become more in touch with their inner self.

There’s no shortage of outdoor events in Chicago throughout the weekend in order for you to get out and soak in the energy of the sun!