Happy Summer Solstice

Happy summer solstice to all of you pagans and druids out there :) 
For the rest of us it just means a little extra beach time!

Fun Solstice Facts

In the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice begins on Jun 21 2011 at 1:16 P.M. EDT
Specifically, the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere is the moment when the sun is directly above the Tropic of Cancer. This is the farthest north the sun ever moves in the sky, which is why the days near the solstice have the most daylight of any days of the year.  

The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction. 
For the June solstice, Christian cultures celebrate the feast of St. John from June 23 to June 24, while Neopagans observe Midsummer or Litha 
Perhaps the most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids' celebration of the day as the "wedding of Heaven and Earth", resulting in the present day belief of a "lucky" wedding in June.
Pagans called the Midsummer moon the "Honey Moon" for the mead made from fermented honey that was part of wedding ceremonies performed at the Summer Solstice.

Midsummer was thought to be a time of magic, when evil spirits were said to appear. To thwart them, Pagans often wore protective garlands of herbs and flowers. One of the most powerful of them was a plant called 'chase-devil', which is known today as St. John's Wort and still used by modern herbalists as a mood stabilizer.

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