Good luck to all who will travel to the Grange Stone Circle tomorrow morning – before sunrise – back in MB’s Irish HX homeland. And well done to those who attended this morning – the actual true Solstice morning of 2016, today 20 June being the longest (daylight) day of the 2016 year.
A few facts as follows taken from today’s British Telegraph newspaper:
The day marks the ancient middle of summer, even though we haven’t had the hottest day.
It has significance for pagans who have always believed that midsummer day holds a special power. Midsummer’s eve was believed to be a time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and when fairies were thought to be at their most powerful.
Over the centuries, the June solstice has inspired many festivals and midsummer celebrations involving bonfires, picnics, singing, watching the sun rise and Maypole dancing. Many towns and villages across Britain still mark the day.
One ritual was the lighting of fires, heralding the start of shorter days, although this doesn’t really happen anymore. The idea was that flames would keep the dark away.
For the first time since 1967 the summer solstice coincides with a rare ‘strawberry’ moon and – clouds willing – the 17 hours of sunlight will give way to a bright moonlit sky.
Despite the name, the moon will not appear pink or red, although it may glow a warm amber. The romantic label was coined by the Algonquin tribes of North America who believed June’s full moon signalled the beginning of the strawberry picking season.
Traditionally, this summer solstice period fell between the planting and harvesting of crops, leaving people who worked the land time to relax. This is why June became the traditional month for weddings.
The first (or only) full moon in June is called the ‘honey moon‘ because many believed it was the best time to take honey from beehives.
MB gives you some photos from his solstice morning 2014 at Grange Stone Circle: