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Summer Solstice

Last Updated: June 7th, 2024

Summer Pudding

This year, in the northern hemisphere, the sun is at its highest point in the sky on the 20th of June. It’s the longest day of the year – and the shortest night. True Midsummer falls in the modern calendar around four days after the Summer Solstice, since the adjustments to the Julian Calendar.

Since the Stone Age, or Neolithic era, the Summer Solstice has been marked and celebrated with the lighting of bonfires. The intention was to strengthen and prolong the heat of the sun in order to ripen the crops for harvest. Of course, stone circles are one of the lasting relics that remain in our landscape from these ancient people and their civilisations, and it’s apparent that stones were aligned to frame the sunrise for anyone standing inside the circle. Many festivals throughout the year were marked in some way with a bonfire, and this elemental energy is still important to us now. Fire cleanses and renews, allowing for fresh growth. It may represent the sun, and the life-giving warmth it gives us.


Midsummer was seen also as a time of magic. It was believed that faerie folk and spirit beings could connect easily with humans at this time, bringing a touch of magical energy to the celebrations of the Solstice Eve.

In ancient Egypt, worship of the Sun God Ra was significant at the Summer Solstice when the river Nile rose to its highest level. Ra was worshipped as creator of life, ruler of the Sun and Sky and of the Kings of Egypt. The golden disc of the Sun was the symbol of Ra and of course it appears on many paintings in tombs and on stele from Ancient Egypt which we may look at today in museums.

In the more modern world, it can be a nice tradition to pick some herbs from the garden on Midsummer’s Eve and dry them for use in the kitchen over the Winter. I always think that it’s preserving just a little bit of the magic of this time of the year to bring a little sunshine into the darker months.

Longest Day of the Year

Gathering with friends and family to mark the longest day is fun, and children usually love the opportunity to stay up late and join in the fun too! You could keep them occupied making daisy chain necklaces and flower-strewn headdresses for everyone to wear at the party, and colourful paper tablecloths and solar candle decorations to hang as the evening light begins to fade just a little.

Warm throws and cushions over your garden chairs are a good idea if the evening begins to chill off, and it will mean that you are still cosy outside. If the great British Summer does its worst, just create everything indoors instead!

Using seasonal fruits and berries to create a special feast for the party is a good way to use up plentiful crops and in-season fruits are usually more affordable, so a little luxury is not so naughty!

Make some home-made lemonade, or even a lush Summer Pudding for everyone to share and enjoy.

Summer Pudding Recipe:

500g Berries

100g caster sugar

A small loaf of white bread, a day or two old, sliced thinly with crusts cut off.

(A 1- litre basin is ideal for this recipe)


  • In a medium saucepan, place the berries and sugar with around 60ml of water. Cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes or so, until the sugar has completely dissolved, and the berries are tender.
  • Strain the berries through a sieve and reserve the juice. Allow to cool.
  • Dip slices of bread into the cooled juice and line the pudding basin with overlapping slices so that all the basin is covered and there are no gaps. You can use small pieces of bread to cover any gaps. Remember to save enough bread to cover the top after you have filled the basin with berries!
  • Spoon in enough berries to come just below the top of your lined pudding basin, then finish by dipping the last pieces of bread into the juice and making a lid for the pudding.
  • Pour over any remaining juices. By now the bread should all have turned a wonderful red colour!

You now need to put a saucer or small plate that fits inside the rim of the basin on top of your pudding, weighing it down with a tin of beans or something similar.

Leave to chill in your fridge overnight, and when you are ready to serve simply invert onto a pretty serving plate and allow the pudding to release from the inside of the basin. You can give it a gentle shake if it needs a bit of help at this point. Decorate with some fresh flowers (washed first!), or some crystallised rose petals.

Serve with some ice cream or a splash of cream and enjoy!

Thrive in the Sun & Air

It’s now time to enjoy the absolute height of Summer, the maximum daylight and the energy that brings to us. We are like all things in nature, and we thrive in the sun and the air; it’s really beneficial to our health and wellbeing to be outside as much as we can. You will be making memories for the Winter months during the warm days of Summer, so do make a point of taking time for yourself now. Go for a walk in the woods on a hot day and revel in the cool air under the trees. Dip your toes into a stream and let the waters take all your cares and worries away! It’s such a magical time of the year, and I wish you joy and peace in finding your own unique way to be as one with Mother Earth this Summer Solstice.

Written by Vanessa, PIN: 3900

Posted: 07/06/2024

Related Category: Spiritual Holidays

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