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How to Throw a Summer Solstice Soirée


By Ashley Turner

You may be familiar with the summer solstice as the longest day of the year or as the first day of summer, but it is also symbolic of coming into our fullness. On the day when the sun is at its highest point (closest to earth in the Northern Hemisphere), we may also feel a surge of energy. Summer solstice (also known as “Litha” or Midsummer) is a day of inner power and brightness. This makes solstice an auspicious day to harness your solar energy (your passion and inspiration) and set an intention or goal for the next phase of your year. Equinox is only a few months away and this is the perfect time to realize your peak aspirations. 

The summer solstice is a time to come together, appreciate the longest day of the year, welcome in the warm weather, and celebrate new beginnings. The theme of this holiday is all about inspiration, joy and play! Here’s how to throw a meaningful summer solstice gathering that your friends and family will love.

The Origins of Summer Solstice

The June solstice marks the beginning of summer and the end of spring (in the Northern Hemisphere). For thousands of years, people have celebrated the summer solstice (Litha) with bonfires, parades, dancing, and festivals to honor the turning of the Wheel of the Year. Today, the British celebrate by watching the sun rise over the ancient Stonehenge monolith, the Scandinavians walk barefoot with floral crowns at their “Midsomer Festivals,” and Canada’s indigenous communities celebrate with a huge festival and sun dance. It's clear that no matter how you choose to invoke this season, the summer solstice is a time to join together and launch into summer with positive vibes!

The word "solstice" comes from the Latin solstitium, which means "sun standing still." This is because on the day of the solstice, the sun appears to stand still in the sky before reversing direction. The summer solstice has been celebrated for generations as a return of warmth, bounty, and fertility. 

In many cultures, it is traditional to decorate your home with greenery on the summer solstice because plants are associated with growth, life, and fertility. Gardening and nurturing plants is one of the most powerful ways to align with nature and embody the solar/lunar cycles of the year. When we observe a plant’s natural growth cycles, we remember how our inner life mirrors this ebb and flow.

Tips for Throwing a Summer Solstice Soirée

Now that you know a little more about the history and meaning behind the summer solstice, let's get into how to throw a perfect summer solstice soirée!

  1. Find a Cozy Open Outdoor Space

First choose an outdoor location, backyard, park, or patio, where you can enjoy the warmth of sunshine. Set up a picnic blanket, cushions or some outdoor furniture in a harmonious way and get ready to relax in the sun. 

  1. Set The Mood

Music is one of the best ways to celebrate and bring people together! Turn up the happy vibes. Create resonance and set the mood with music from the Lunarly Intention Setting Playlist.

  1. Use Decor That Welcomes Life

Next, fill your space with summery decorations like potted plants, seasonal flowers, string lights, candles, sparklers and anything else that makes you think of summer, sunshine and joy. Use sprigs of lavender, sage, rosemary or richly scented herbs to decorate table tops or centerpieces as a reminder of summer's bounty. Plus, ancient cultures have a long history of burning juniper and sandalwood for comfort and grounding during solstice celebrations.

  1. Serve a Whimsical Feast

Now it's time for food and drinks! Use this chance to add a little whimsy to the menu with creative appetizers perfect for eating while walking barefoot beneath the sunset. Light spritzers with blueberry and rosemary infusions will keep your guests toasting you all evening. Or make a cooling, fresh lavender lemonade or mocktail. Finish the tastings with a sweet and easy treat like chilled berries and cream or raw chocolate mousse made with avocado.

  1. Honor the Expression With a Ritual

Finally, as the sun goes down, light up your gathering with a candlelit ritual to welcome the fullness of your light within. Gather around a fire pit, fire-safe clay pot or pass a lighted candle around to each of your guests and ask them to offer up an intention, mantra, wish, prayer or simply toast to summer's return. 

The day filled with the most light is also your opportunity to give reverence to your fullest self and your biggest dreams with reflection and gratitude. Summer solstice is a time where we can set intentions that will carry into the next chapter and bring about lasting, positive change. 

Ashley Turner is the founder of Yoga Psyche, an advanced methodology for therapists and students, and a contributor to top tier media publications and podcasts including Self, Shape, Mantra, Origin, Women’s Health, Yoga Journal and Natural Health. Ashley hosts transformative events using her innovative fusion of yoga, depth psychology, mindfulness, and neuroscience.