This years summer solstice is almost here — at 12:38 pm on Sunday June 21, 2015, the Sun will reach its highest point in the sky (as seen from the Northern Hemisphere, in the Southern Hemisphere it’ll reach its lowest point in the sky). This marks the official start of summer, and the longest day of the year, and sets off a wide range of different celebrations in the various corners and cultures of the world.
It also means that from here on out the days will be getting shorter for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere until we again find ourselves in the depths of winter a half-year from now.
Another way of thinking about the day, is to recognize that the North Pole of the planet will be reaching its maximum point of tilt towards the Sun — before then tilting away from the Sun once again. For those of us in the US, that means that well be getting 14-16 hours of sunlight (or ~22 hours for those in Alaska) — depending on where exactly in the country you are.
In many regions of the world, the summer solstice is considered to be the time of year when the veil between the different worlds is thinnest, and when spirits are at their most potent in the world (the world that we are most aware of).
Bonfires are a common element of midsummer’s day celebrations in many places for that reason (amongst others) — as a means of keep malevolent spirits (with regards to human welfare) at bay. It’s also a particularly good time of year for making various amulets, potions, etc — especially with regards to marriage, love, etc.
Image Credit: Public Domain