I find the solstices and equinoxes appealing. (I guess this is not too shocking … so have people around the world, for millenia.) Come on: the rhythms of the seasons and of the solar system, the balance and imbalance of light and darkness. It’s good stuff.
So this year, we started developing traditions for these days.
Our summer solstice celebration happened during my awful pregnancy, which limited our options. We read Wendy Pfeffer’s book The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice, lit candles, listened to sun-themed songs (“Here Comes the Sun” and so forth), and had a little feast of sun-colored foods: cupcakes, pineapple, and mango lemonade. I bought a bouquet of sunny yellow spider mums and made Noah a flower crown out of paper and ribbon. It was nice, but not magical.
I’m not sure what to do for summer solstice, really, especially while our children are too little to stay up through nightfall in the summer (without making the next day awful). Perhaps next time we’ll be outdoors, at least, though we can’t very well have a bonfire in our urban duplex’s yard. In any event, if your family has summer solstice traditions, do share in the comments.
But our winter solstice celebration was lovely. We let the apartment get dark instead of flipping on lights as usual. We lit a bunch of beeswax candles and listened to Ancient Noëls. We drank hot cocoa and laughed and talked a little about the winter and the coming spring and summer. The gradual darkening and the warm candlelight: I liked that, a lot. I look forward to doing it again next year.