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Summer Solstice

How the longest day of the year is celebrated around the world.



Whether it’s down the coast or on a different continent, people across the globe commemorate the start of summer in varying ways. Read on to find out how they do it and gather inspiration for your own festivity.

SOLSTICE PARADE — Santa Barbara
The parade started in 1974 as a birthday celebration for a popular artist and mime named Michael Gonzales. Since then it has grown into a display of floats, giant puppets and masks with more than 1,000 parade participants.

SOLSTICE IN TIMES SQUARE: MIND OVER MADNESS YOGA New York City
For the past 15 years, thousands of yogis from around the world have been traveling to Times Square to celebrate the summer solstice with free yoga classes in the middle of the city.

MIDSUMMER Sweden
Here people often begin the day by picking flowers and making wreaths for the maypole, which is a key component in the celebrations. The maypole is raised in an open spot and a traditional ring dance takes place around it.

KUPALA Eastern Europe
This Slavic holiday with pagan roots was named for the Slavic goddess Kupala and was originally conceived as a fertility rite. Women weave garlands of flowers and float them on water to predict romantic success.

MIDSUMMER’S EVE AND ST. JOHN’S DAY  Estonia and Latvia
These are two of the most important days in the calendar, marked by bonfires and parties. Traditional diversions include jumping over bonfires and flower-picking.

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