It's Litha, also known as Midsummer/the Summer Solstice this upcoming week (Thursday 21st June) and so I'm doing a new post on celebration ideas. I first did one last year which you can read here (also a baking post): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/06/baking-no-yeast-dinner-rolls-and.html
Like I did with my Celebrating Oestara + Spring post back in March, I'm combining ideas for Litha and celebrating summer in general. :)
Note: For those in the Southern Hemisphere winter is starting and Yule aka Midwinter/the Winter Solstice is coming up. You might enjoy this post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/12/yule-celebration-ideas.html
At the beginning of the month I wrote a post on getting ready for summer which you can see here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/06/getting-ready-for-summer_3.html
As I mentioned there, the Summer Solstice is the official start of summer (around 20th June) but the meteorological start is 1st June. It definitely feels like summer has already started, since we've had some nice, hotter weather. (Although not so much today!).
First of all here are a few links about Litha/the Summer Solstice itself:
My own post from 2014: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2014/06/litha.html
Update 12/6/21: The ThoughtCo link now redirects to this Learn Religions article: https://www.learnreligions.com/history-of-summer-solstice-holiday-litha-2562244
And now some posts about celebrating:
Demi from Priestess Training writes about honouring the Goddesses of Water since in her tradition, it's a festival of water: http://www.priestesstraining.com/prepping-for-the-summer-solstice-honouring-the-mother-of-water/
In the ThoughtCo post I linked to above, it also mentions how Litha is a balance between fire and water. That's interesting because I've thought of it more as a fire festival, so it's good to have an alternative viewpoint. :)
http://www.witchywords.com/2018/06/summer-solstice-litha-ten-ideas-for.html (Now a private blog)
I especially like No 2. Journal and No. 4 from The Seasonal Soul's Summer Solstice rituals post (1st link). I enjoy journalling and the other day I journalled on some summer questions from another Seasonal Soul post. Check it out here: http://www.theseasonalsoul.com/protect-your-energy/
And I was inspired by No. 6 in Tess Whitehurst's 7 Ways to Work Some Summer Solstice Magic (3rd link), which is make ginger or cinnamon cookies. I decided to do that early, so last week I baked ginger biscuits. I used the basic dough recipe from Soraya's book The Kitchen Witch and added ginger. I only added about a teaspoon and they didn't come out that gingery but never mind! They were still nice, lol. Here's a picture:
|Not very gingery but tasted nice!|
Some are cut into half moon type shapes. I sprinkled sugar on them after the pic was taken.
I normally make gingerbread for Lammas and Samhain, so it was good to try a ginger themed recipe at a different time of year. Also last Yule I baked these soft and chewy ginger cookies which were nice: https://www.sixsistersstuff.com/recipe/soft-and-chewy-ginger-cookies/
Note: When I've visited this site in the past I've had a warning message from my anti-virus saying that it's a security threat (using Firefox). One of the site owners told me it's been checked and is fine. I usually visit it on Chrome now and it seems to be fine.
Now here's one final Litha/Summer Solstice post. I'd saved it on Pinterest a while ago and came across it again yesterday:
I like No.4 best, making a list of what you want to renew, manifest and release from your life. I might try that.
I usually celebrate Litha by having salad. I like things like tomatoes, chopped up carrots, potato salad etc. normally, but with the potato salad but you can always make your own. For Samhain/Hallowe'en I like to make some from The Kitchen Witch. I most recently used the recipe for snacks to eat while watching Eurovision! I'm not planning to make any potato salad this Litha, but I might another year. If you'd like to have a go, here is another recipe (I've not yet made this but plan to) : https://applytofaceblog.com/2018/05/09/potato-salad/
For the last couple of years I've made tomato and onion salad (recipe also from The Kitchen Witch) for Litha and I'm going to again this year.
This could also go in Celebrating Summer section! I like to make lemonade for Litha. My favourite is what I call "Hello Kitty lemonade" because the recipe is from the book Hello Kitty's Little book of big ideas, lol. In 2016 I used a lemonade recipe from The Real Witches' Kitchen by Kate West but it was too bitter for me, so last year I went back to the Hello Kitty one, and I'll use that again this year.
For more lemonade recipes and summer drinks in general, check out these posts:
Light a candle
Since Litha is a fire festival (like Beltane) lighting a candle is a good way to celebrate. Last year I lit white and orange candles after being inspired by a Tess Whitehurst post: https://tesswhitehurst.com/5-ways-to-celebrate-midsummer-in-5-minutes-or-less/
The light has been increasing since Yule and especially Oestara/the Spring Equinox, so now is a good time to celebrate the increased daylight. After Midsummer it will start to wane but we probably won't see much of a difference for a while yet. Here's a good post about summer and light: https://tenderlogic.com/never-away-light/
I love sunsets (sunrises too but I'm more of an evening person!) and one of the things I enjoy is taking pictures of them on sabbats. Last Litha I walked in Hove Park and took some photos. This year I may go up my local nature reserve.
With the good weather and longer days, summer is a great time to get outside. There are often outside events you can attend, like a fair or summer fete/festival. My belly dance group tends to gets busier during the summer with performances at events (although there's not so much planned this year so far!).
Or if you'd prefer you can just go for a walk on the beach or in the country. Even if you just get out in the garden that's a good way to make the most of the sunshine. :) I go for more walks on the beach and at my local nature reserve during the summer. I walk in the park year round (as long as the weather's not too bad) but it's definitely easier in the summer!
As I mentioned in last year's post, when I was a child and teen I used to go strawberry picking with my family at Roundstone PYO (Pick Your Own) Farm in the summer holidays. If you have a local farm that organises fruit picking, it's something fun to try. :)
Eat ice cream
I like ice cream year round but it seems like a typical "summer thing" to me! So far I've had an ice cream from the van at Hove Park, one from the cafe at Worthing Beach and a couple of McDonald's ones, lol. I often have ice cream and biscuits for Litha but last year I made some rice pudding and will probably do that again this year.
Witch of Lupine Hollow has a recipe for ice cream sandwiches to make for Litha, but you could make them any time: https://witchoflupinehollow.com/2016/06/20/ice-cream-sandwiches-for-the-summer-solstice/
Drink iced coffee
Included this because I love iced coffee! Substitute it for your drink of choice :) For more on summer drinks see the summer drinks posts linked to under "Drink lemonade", or click here and here.
I'll end with a few more summer inspiration links:
My post about my fave summer things from 2013: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2013/07/favourite-things-about-summer.html
Top 10 summer songs post from my entertainment blog: https://starsparklex.blogspot.com/2016/08/top-10-summer-songs.html
Summer ideas for your bullet journal (I don't actually have one but it's an idea that interests me: https://littlemissrose.com/summer-bullet-journal-ideas/
My Pinterest boards:
Katie Snooks' summer post: https://www.katiesnooks.com/2018/04/things-i-love-about-the-summer.html
Hope you enjoyed the post! :) How do you celebrate Litha and/summer? Have a good Litha! (Or Yule depending where you are.) :)
Top photo: Worthing Beach. Moonsparkle 2018.