Summer is here! Woo hoo! While that may not be such a big deal to those who are already settling in the Caribbean, and get to enjoy nice weather all year, it is still a day of celebration and happiness all throughout the northern hemisphere of the world! It is a day to celebrate the sun and enjoy extended light and warmth. So what will you be doing to welcome the summer?
Here are some ideas of how many people honor and celebrate this day throughout the world:
Chichen Itza and its Mayan mysteries
Probably one of the most important and interesting things to do is to watch the summer solstice at the very moment it happens at Chichen-Itza. We are talking about the exact point where the sun seems to pause and highlight the north and east sides of the temple of Kukulcan while creating complete shade on the south and west sides. If you are in the Riviera Maya during this time this is a great opportunity to be a part of such a historical tradition.
It is very popular to go to Chichen-Itza, not only for the summer solstice but also for the winter solstice and fall and spring equinox. The Mayans were very intelligent and without any kind of technology or advancement, that we use today, they had to construct a way to know what day, month and season it was. They were able to use the pattern of light to determine the seasons.
Also, for those who did not know this already the Temple of Kukulcan has 91 steps on each of the 4 sides plus one last step up to the top of the platform to equal 365. This represents one step per day. Another thing worth noting is that each season is exactly 91 days apart except for the summer solstice which is 92 all adding up to 365 days. The Mayans were able to determine everything just by paying attention with nature and the sun. Many will flock to Chichen-Itza to watch and partake in celebrations of this wonderful day!
How about a little bit of yoga?
If you can’t make it to Chichen-Itza how about a little bit of yoga? I know, this might sound a little surprising if you aren’t already familiar with the summer solstice traditions but it is true that many people across the world gather for special yoga sessions on the morning of the summer solstice. These special yoga sessions are intended to honor the sun. Check out the local yoga studios in Playa del Carmen, Tulum and across the Riviera Maya to see how you can get involved in one of these special sessions. Not in Mexico? Check out New York City where they put on a huge yoga event right in Times Square including free classes, music, performances and lots of celebration.
Perfect day for a wedding!
This very day is actually one of the most popular days for weddings. June is believed to be a good luck month for weddings anyways but June 21st, or the day of the summer solstice, is referred to as the “wedding of heaven and earth” and draws much attention to those when picking out their special day. In addition, if your wedding is outdoors you can get the most out of your day.
Another interesting tradition is to hold a bonfire. Make a big fire, invite your friends, cook, and celebrate the day!! I think this goes along with idea and is a good excuse to have a nice gathering with friends and family. Make the most out of the longest day of the year and the sunlight by being outdoors and taking in all the day has to offer. Other traditions include festivals, parades and special ceremonies. Make your own traditions, have a BBQ, go to the beach. Whatever it is you decide to do, enjoy! Happy Summer everyone!
-by Bea Lozano