Easy and Fun Rituals to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

The sun sheds its light and warmth over us. Our gardens brim with rose and honeysuckle. On Friday, June 21st, the summer solstice celebrations begin, symbolizing the strength of the sun and marking the longest day of the year.

Midsummer (also known as Litha), can be celebrated with traditional ceremonies or less traditional and more personal ones. Various rituals date as far back as ancient Rome’s celebrations of Vesta, an agricultural deity who depicted by a burning flame. Still today, in contemporary tradition, fire is used throughout the ceremony because fire is sun energy magnified!

If you celebrate Litha with a coven, you will likely perform rituals with the fire god/oak king. Traditionally, the Priestess will bring out a god-shaped figure formed with sticks. Inside the figure is a loaf of bread. He is thrown into a fire to bake. After the entire ceremony, the bread is blessed, broken, and shared among the coven.

If you don’t belong to a coven or you prefer to practice alone, don’t fret. You can always bake your own sun god bread! Consider also participating in a few easy and fun rituals that can be done solo or with friends. Creating your own solstice tradition can be a super empowering way to soak in and celebrate the sun.

Woman among sunflowers and bubbles

5 Easy Ways to Celebrate Midsummer

1. Light a candle to burn through the entire day, then go play outside.

2. When the sun is hottest, take a plunge! Natural bodies of water are always best. The ocean is salty, refreshing, and purifying!

3. Host a picnic with friends with food straight from your garden (or if you don’t have one, stop by a farmer’s market)! You can never go wrong with a daytime solstice feast.

4. Decorate your own altar. I like to decorate my altar with summer flowers and do a wild dance beneath the sun’s rays. Some summer flowers to use include roses, chamomile, honeysuckle, daisies, lavender, lilies, and carnations.

5. Wear yellow. Yellow is the color of the sun, so put on that yellow outfit and delight in your solar plexus healing.

When the sun goes down, host a bonfire

Traditionally, oak is used for burning a bonfire, but use any firewood you might have handy. The Celtic name for Oak is Duir, meaning “doorway” and symbolizing our passage into the second part of the year. In Wicca, Litha also celebrates the Sun God/Oak King archetype. (Read more about the archetype of the Holly King, the Oak King’s counterpart, who rules the winter.)

Celebrate with the faeries

Fairy Circle of crystals on a

It is said that on Litha, access to the faerie realm opens up. Many fae traditions exist, but my personal favorite is frolicking with them around a bonfire. Lore also says that if you fall asleep in a circle of stones once the sun is down, the fae will come to visit you. Remember that faeries can be tricksters, so leave them gifts (like honey, flowers, and shiny stones) and they will be kind to you.

“This is the time of the rose, blossom and thorn, fragrance and blood. Now on this longest day, light triumphs and yet begins the decline into the dark. The Sun King grown embraces the Queen of Summer in the love that is death because it is so complete that all dissolves into the single song of ecstasy that moves the worlds. So the Lord of Light dies to Himself, and sets sail across the dark seas of time, searching for the isle of light that is rebirth. We turn the Wheel and share his fate for we have planted the seeds of our own changes and to grow we must accept even the passing of the Sun.” (The Spiritual Dance, HarperCollins, 1999, p.205)


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