Litha aka Midsummer/the Summer Solstice is coming up! In 2021 it's on Monday 21st June (or Sunday 20th North American time). For the past few years, I've written posts with celebration and inspiration ideas. This year I'm doing a round-up post, like the one I did for Beltane 2021. I'm sharing my previous Litha posts and linking to some from other people. :)
Yule Celebration Ideas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/12/yule-celebration-ideas.html
Celebrating Yule + Christmas: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/12/celebrating-yulechristmas.html
Litha is the 2nd festival associated with summer on the Wheel of the Year. It comes after Beltane in late April/early May, (although Beltane is a spring festival that also marks the shift towards summer) and precedes Lammas in late July/August, (which is an end of summer sabbat and the first harvest festival) and is always around 21st June. Its themes include the celebration of light, summer, fire and abundance. Litha is also a water festival in some traditions.
This sabbat represents possibility to me as well. It's also called the Summer Solstice and Midsummer since it takes place on the longest day of the year. The June solstice is an astrological event though, when in the Northern Hemisphere we get the most amount of light. Litha is a pagan festival celebrated on the same day.
The Summer Solstice is the astrological start of summer (compared to the metrological start on 1st June) and directly opposite the Winter Solstice/Midwinter, also celebrated as Yule. This year the scientific time of the solstice is 4.32am BST (11.32pm EDT the night before). Find your local time here: https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/summer-solstice.html
While Litha marks the "official" beginning of summer, it's also called Midsummer and Beltane is considered the start of the summer season, which is a bit confusing! I wrote a bit about it in last year's post: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/06/litha-summer-inspiration.html
However you view it, we move fully into summer this month! :) Here is a round-up of my previous Litha posts on TSL:
Litha 2014: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2014/06/litha.html
Litha 2015: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2015/06/litha-2015.html
Litha 2016: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2016/07/litha-2016.html
Litha/Midsummer Celebration Ideas (also a baking post): https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/06/baking-no-yeast-dinner-rolls-and.html
Litha 2017: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2017/06/litha-2017.html
Celebrating Litha + Summer: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/06/celebrating-litha-summer.html
Litha 2018: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2018/06/litha-2018.html
Litha Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/06/litha-inspiration_17.html
Litha 2019: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2019/06/litha-2019.html
Litha + Summer Inspiration: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/06/litha-summer-inspiration.html
And here are some posts from other people:
Guide to Litha for secular witches: https://thefatfeministwitch.com/2017/06/20/a-secular-witchs-guide-to-the-sabbats-litha/
4 Ways to Embrace Your Light for Litha: https://zennedout.com/4-ways-to-embrace-your-light-for-litha/
I also thought I'd re-share a post from last year April of Witchcrafted Life about ways to celebrate Litha indoors. If you're currently in quarantine or self-isolating due to coronavirus, hopefully you'll find it useful: https://witchcraftedlife.com/12-ways-to-celebrate-the-summer-solstice-indoors-during-covid-19-or-anytime/
I normally have salad and lemonade for Litha, homemade or bought. One of my favourite salads to make is a tomato and onion one from The Kitchen Witch book by Soraya. You can see a picture here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2016/07/litha-2016.html
I'm planning to use red onion like I did for Litha 2019. I also used red onion in the Kachumbari I made for Beltane 2019. Kachumbari is a Kenyan and onion tomato salad. Here's the recipe: https://www.preciouscore.com/kachumbari/
I'll have it for my lunch with some other bits. I'm planning to make "Hello Kitty lemonade" (the recipe is from a Hello Kitty book!). You can see it here: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2013/08/summer-drinks.html
Also check out last year's post for more lemonade recipes: https://livingseasonal.blogspot.com/2020/06/litha-summer-inspiration.html
I will probably also make made rice pudding which I've made in the past. I was inspired by a recipe in the Llewellyn's 2017 Sabbats Almanac for cold rice pudding, but I usually use the recipe off the back of the pudding rice packet!
Another couple of things I like to do are light a candle (preferably orange or yellow) and take sunset pics. I like to do this because Litha is a fire festival and the longest day, so it's good to celebrate the light. Taking pictures at sunset is something I like to do for sabbats anyway and it's especially nice to do it on the Summer Solstice (or as close as possible if the weather isn't so good!).
Last year I went to the park but this year I should be able to get to my favourite nature reserve on a hill.
Hope that gave you some ideas for celebrating Litha! :) This time last year we were a few months into lockdown but restrictions were starting to ease. The UK has been opening more in the last couple of months and in England there was talk of opening up completely on the 21st. However, it's been confirmed today that complete lifting of lockdown will be delayed by a month. Elsewhere in the UK restrictions are set to be eased further, although Wales' rules will be reviewed soon.
I will do a post on my celebrations next week. Happy Litha! (Or Happy Yule!) :)
Photo: Buckingham Park, Shoreham-by-sea. Moonsparkle 2021.