Summer Solstice Traditions from Around the World

June 19, 2017
Tuesday, June 20 is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere which most Americans know simply as the longest day of the year. Around the world, the summer solstice is so much more than that!

Here are 3 international summer solstice traditions.

Stockholm, Sweden 

Many of us are familiar with the idea of the maypole, which Swedes dance around to celebrate the solstice, which they call Midsummer (Midsommar). The maypole is decorated with flowers and ribbons and the day is a joyous celebration! Try building a miniature maypole with your kids to teach them about this fun cultural tradition. 

Image (above).

Tyrol, Austria 

Summer solstice has long been celebrated by the lighting of bonfires and Tyrol, Austria puts on the best show around! Thousands of bonfires are lit on the mountainsides to create a variety of shapes all night long. This tradition is so spectacular that UNESCO declared it a cultural heritage site.  

Our professional au pairs' home country, Germany, also celebrates the summer solstice, though not quite at the same scale! For more facts about summer in Germany, visit our blog here.Tyrol

(Image)

Stonehenge, England 

Stonehenge was built around 5,000 years ago yet to this day, on the summer solstice the sun rises and hits exactly in the center of the altar stone in the middle of Stonehenge. This is a wonderful mystery and every year the summer solstice is still celebrated at Stonehenge to witness this incredible feat of ancient engineering.  

Stonehenge (Image)

What fun tradition will you create with your kids this summer solstice?