With summer solstice coming up on June 21, we wanted to share how to celebrate this change of season. Just as people celebrate winter solstice, many honor the shift from spring to summer. Also called Midsummer or Litha, summer solstice is a wonderful opportunity to mark this transitional time. Read on to learn about what summer solstice is, the origins of summer solstice and how to throw a summer solstice party.

What is the summer solstice?

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. According to Britannica, the summer solstice is when “the Sun travels the longest path through the sky, and that day therefore has the most daylight.” Summer solstice is made up of the Latin words for sun (solstitium or sol) and standing (-stit or –stes). After the summer solstice, the days start getting shorter, until we reach the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, and the cycle starts over again.

When is the summer solstice?

Summer solstice 2022 will take place on Tuesday, June 21 at 5:14 ET in the Northern hemisphere (north of the equator), according to the Farmer’s Almanac. In the Southern hemisphere (south of the equator), the seasons are reversed, so this date is the start of winter, and the summer solstice there begins on December 21.

How can you celebrate the summer solstice?

There are many ways to celebrate the summer solstice. In Sweden, Midsummer is an official holiday, where people gather outdoors, put flowers in their hair, dance around a maypole and eat local favorites like herring. In the U.S., you can also celebrate the summer solstice in a wide variety of ways. Here are some suggestions for how to honor the longest day of the year and welcome a bright summer:

Light a fire

Setting bonfires has a long tradition, especially in Europe, to mark the summer solstice and represent the heat of the sun. According to the La Porte Library, these fires are used “in praise of the sun, to bring luck, and to ward off the darkness or evil spirits who roam freely after the sun sets.” If you have a fire pit, lighting a fire and enjoying the great outdoors is a wonderful way to ring in the season.

If you’re doing this indoors, you can symbolically light a fire by burning incense, which will also help to offer a powerful scent and a way of clearing your space you’re your mind. If you’re a regular incense burner, to mark the changing season you may want to start using a new scent of incense to honor the start of summer.

Attend a summer solstice event

Many towns hold events to honor the summer solstice, from music festivals to runs, yoga, bonfires, tours or tastings. These may take place on the weekend closest to the summer solstice and are an excellent way to meet new people, get some fresh air and try something new.

Do a summer solstice tarot spread

The start of this new season is the perfect time to do a summer solstice tarot spread. You can draw tarot cards and ask questions about what to expect from the coming season. Use a six- or nine-card tarot spread, with one question corresponding to each of your selected cards. For your summer solstice tarot, avoid yes or no questions by keeping your questions keyed in on what you’ve learned from the spring that you can use to guide you, what to expect from the season ahead and how you can best honor your heart’s desires this summer. Use your tarot card reading to prepare yourself for the summer season and learn where to best focus your energies. See The Seasonal Soul for more specific questions and a summer solstice guidebook.

See our guide to tarot cards to learn more about how to read them.

Drink up!

Having a celebratory drink or two can be a delightful way to usher in the summer. But toasting to the summer solstice and incoming season with your friends and loved ones can help you unwind and formally honor the months ahead. You may want to make a special cocktail or simply enjoy one that feels summery to you. If you choose to imbibe, do so responsibly.

Perform a manifestation ritual

Summer solstice is the perfect time to perform a manifestation ritual with your favorite crystals. A manifestation ritual is a way of using your crystals to manifest what you are seeking using the law of attraction. It’s not an instant equation of ask for what you want and it will appear, but the process of doing so over time and formally putting those desires out into the universe in a deliberate way.

As Emma Halley, a spiritual wellness coach and crystal therapist, told Healthline about manifestation, “We know that everything in the universe is made of energy at a subatomic particle level, and our thoughts carry a vibration of their very own. When we consider that ‘like attracts like’ the things we think about and focus on become part of the vibration we ourselves carry, and therefore attract.”

Crystals are tools that can help you manifest desired outcomes in various areas of your life. Different crystals are aligned with various aspects of life such as love, health and success. You can choose a specific crystal or a variety of crystals if you have multiple areas you want to explore. Continue to perform this manifestation ritual throughout the summer and see how you’ve progressed by the end of the season.

Go on a date

If you’re single and looking to find true love, summer solstice is the perfect time to put yourself out there. Summer solstice has traditionally been a time when single people pray and chant about meeting a mate. Your version of this can take a different form; maybe put on your most bright, summer-y outfit, attend an outdoor party or movie screening, put flowers in your hair and be open to meeting someone. There are plenty of other days for you to lounge at home and binge watch; mark your calendar that this will be a day you make an extra effort to seek out love. Maybe instead of your usual haunt, you find an outdoor bar, or go on a solo picnic with enough food for two. Basking in the sun is sure to put you in a wonderful mood no matter what happens. And if you’re already in a relationship, get out of the house on June 21 and add some extra romance to your life.

Burn sage to cleanse your space

Summer solstice is an excellent time to cleanse your personal space by burning sage to rid your home of negative energy. Burning sage has a long history with Native Americans and other indigenous cultures as a way to promote healing and gaining wisdom. Also known as “smudging,” burning sage is a way to reset your space and your mindset.

Make sure a window is open to let the smoke exit the room and that no pets are nearby.

Before you start, set an intention for what you want to achieve by burning sage. You can either state this intention out loud or think it repeatedly to yourself; you may want to visualize the words in your mind or write them down. This can be a specific outcome or a more abstract goal.

To burn sage for smudging, hold the wand (bundle) of sage, which may also be called a smudge stick, at a 45-degree angle, then light the end of the sage wand. Allow the sage to burn for about 20 seconds before blowing it out. Then hold the wand from the non-burned end and wave it around, letting the smoke waft through the air. Walking around the smoke is recommended as you focus on your intention. Giselle Wasfie, L.Ac., a Chinese medicine expert and the founder of REMIX Acupuncture & Integrative Health, told Mind Body Green, “Give special attention to areas in front of mirrors, in corners, and in spaces like foyers, hallways, and doorways.” If you want to cleanse your own life, you can circle the wand around your own body.

When you’re done, make sure to safely extinguish your sage wand either in a glass bowl, an ashtray or some ash or sand. You don’t want to use water to extinguish your sage as it will ruin the sage so it can’t be used again. Then once the fire is fully extinguished, store it in a dry place away from sunlight.

How to throw a summer solstice party

The start of summer and longer days ahead is the perfect time to celebrate with friends and family. With the weather becoming more pleasant, it’s a wonderful opportunity to throw a summer solstice party. Decorate with flowers or plants as a way to honor nature. Whether you’re sending invitations online or by mail, add a solar theme to them to brighten up your guests’ mood. You could even add a dress code requiring everyone to wear an item of yellow clothing to honor the sun. Light a fire or add string lights to your decorations. Play summer-themed music and stay up late.

Serve lighter food like a selection of salads and finger foods such as mini sandwiches or a cheese platter plus seasonally appropriate drinks like lemonade and iced tea and a fruity punch or spritzer for cocktails.

Offer tarot readings to give your guests a way to gain some insight into what awaits them this summer. They’re sure to be thinking about your party every time one of the summer solstice tarot insights turns out to be spot-on.

We wish you a happy summer solstice and fun summer ahead!