The summer solstice marks the first day of summer, creating the longest day and shortest night of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere, while our Southern Hemisphere counterpart celebrates the winter solstice. Read on to see how we fuel up for this magical day, what this is all about and how to celebrate summer solstice easily!
What is the Summer Solstice?
Solstice means the “standing of the sun” from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). The effect of the sun standing still is all about the tilt of earth of its axis and rotation around the sun, leaving us with the most hours of sunlight on this day than any other day of the year (in June).
Of course, in December, it’s the opposite and brings us in the Northern Hemisphere (all geographic locations North of the equator) the shortest day (or least amount of sunlight hours) of the year. This also makes for a really great science lesson with the kids, btw.
What does the Summer Solstice Mean?
Following the summer solstice, the days of the year get shorter and shorter, until we reach the longest night of the year or the winter solstice. Because life and plants need sunlight to survive and thrive, many cultures take advantage of this day to celebrate the long hours of sunshine from deep traditions to simple things like exploring in nature and feasts with friends, because it’s also a time to recognize the potential harvest that is to come.
As opposed to the longer nights of winter, when our natural rhythm is to get cozy and settle in with feelings of hibernation, the sun brings light, warmth, and energizes us… so to celebrate (’cause ya’ll know we like a good celebration), we just like to get outdoors, after fueling up for a day where the sunshine lasts longer than 12 hours, of course!
“Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings.” Hodding Carter
How to Fuel Up for Summer Solstice.
Since it’s so refreshing to get out in nature AND to celebrate nature, I thought the summer solstice would be the perfect time to fuel up by incorporating one of our favorite new dairy-free alternatives, Planet Oat Oatmilk!!
Lately, we’ve been making some changes to our eating habits at home and they have made a big impact on our bodies, skin, and even how we sleep. We’re putting a larger emphasis on fruit and veggies this summer, as well as lean meats, including fish, when cooking at home and taking steps in a healthier direction, especially during this pregnancy, has been such a good thing.
Chris has lactose intolerance, and though I’ve had tests showing that I have an allergy to dairy as well, I don’t typically have an outright reaction to it, but I want to avoid inflammation within my body as well.
One thing I took for granted, and I missed fueling up my days with it during early pregnancy, was my coffee!!! I tried all kinds of dairy milk alternatives too (because I like mine VERY light and creamy!!), and none would froth well or give the creamy taste I craved with my morning caffeine – until Oatmilk!
Isn’t it so crazy when something from nature totally steps up to the plate?!
Planet Oat is a beverage brand that orbits around one of the most nutritious and delicious superfoods in the world – the oat. The dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, lactose-free, peanut-free, and tree-nut-free oat milk is available in four delicious flavors and we like all of them… Original, Extra Creamy, Vanilla, and Dark Chocolate.
With no GMO’s, artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors Planet Oat oatmilk also has fewer calories compared to dairy milk and contains 2-3 grams of fiber per serving while dairy milk contains no fiber at all. It also has 2-3 times more protein and more fiber than almond milk!
We’ve been enjoying it by the glass, in cereal and coffee, and it’s great for cooking and baking too!
How to Celebrate Summer Solstice: 5 Easy Ways
1. Get Out in Nature!
“Nature is a tool to get children to experience not just the wider world, but themselves.” Stephen Moss
I love that I can give my kids a fueled-up start to the day, and then let them explore the world around us. Make the most of the longest day and shortest night of the year by getting outdoors with your favorite people! It’s the perfect time to take that hike you’ve been wanting to, head to the beach or pool, work in the garden, or even just get into some fun seasonal crafts or activities… like finding a nearby art fair or festival, making flower crowns with flowers you pick, etc.
The best part about those extra hours of sunlight is actually doing something out in it! Just make sure to use your sun protection too.
Ps. These Coconut Almond Energy Bites are such a great way to STAY fueled up throughout a day of outdoor play!
2. Create a Refreshing Diffuser Blend for the Home.
Since we love essential oils in our home already, this is a great season to mix things up and clean and refresh our indoor air with a new diffuser blend.
For a sweet Summer Solstice diffuser blend try mixing scents that would naturally occur in the summer season. With 4 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil + 3 drops Rose Essential Oil + 2 drops Patchouli Essential Oil, you’ll have your home smelling bright and cheery while also circulating calming aromas.
3. Have a Solstice Feast.
For the longest day of the year, there isn’t a better way to take advantage of those extra evening hours than an outdoor affair. Invite friends over or make a special night with family for a midsummer feast full of seasonal produce.
I’m loving this gorgeous setting and recipe ideas from Bon Appetit!
Here are some beautiful decor and party ideas from Domino if you really want to make your midsummer feast a féte! And we even have a simple tablescape idea with beautiful paper flowers made from coffee filters here.
4. Take Stock of Where You Are in the Year and Renew Goals.
With these extra hours of daylight and the official beginning of summer, it’s a great time to access where you are in your goals for the year. Just like the changing of seasons, it’s a perfect opportunity to let go and start fresh. Maybe some goals have changed? Maybe you need to step past the fear and try something new? Take a few minutes and set your goals, ideas, and habits that you want to bring into your life in the next season.
There are many ways you can celebrate the summer solstice, from keeping it laid back (a little more our style lately), to an all-out affair.
So, now that you know a little more about the summer solstice, or what some like to call midsummer, how would you create a summer solstice celebration that is meaningful for you and your family? I’d love to hear your ideas too!
Don’t forget to check out these fun outdoor summer activities for more summer ideas!