Have you ever wondered how people around the world celebrate their summers?
Not everyone celebrates it the same. While we may be drawn to the warmth of the sun’s rays, and may don swimsuits and have beach or pool parties, summer is diverse just like the world’s cultures and people.
People have welcomed the first day of summer, or the summer solstice, for millennia in many different ways, as we can see from Stonehenge.
Let’s explore interesting and special summer celebrations around the world.
The Summer Solstice, the first day of Summer, is a big day on the calendar for Scandinavia. They refer to it as Midsummer and celebrate the day with plenty of vodka, singing, herring, and dancing around the Maypole.
Bonfires and Dancing
In most parts of Europe, summer is welcomed with bonfires, dancing, and in some instances, naked runs through the town! It is referred to as St. John’s Day. Originally a pagan custom, it is widely practiced today. The highlight of Norway’s festivities is a large bonfire.
In Greece, men jump over large flames as a show of their masculinity. And in France, a fire is lit to mark the beginning of a summer music festival -- Fête de la Musique.
Eating Strange Food
Certain foods are reserved solely for summer. For instance, in California (United States), the San Diego State Fair serves some of the strangest concoctions via Chicken Charlie’s to fairgoers, like a donut sloppy joe sandwich.
Dress in Costume
For many celebrators, celebrating summer wouldn’t be complete without a costume. It is custom for many Scandinavians to don traditional folk attire. At Stonehenge, the Druids wear white robes.
One of the largest summer celebrations takes place every year in the U.S.’s Santa Barbara, California. It’s a festival that happens over the course of 3 days. Event goers and performers are adorned in face paint, colorful costumes, face masks, and elaborate clothing.
Visiting the Beach
For many, nothing symbolizes summer more than a trip to the beach. Whether sunbathing, playing sports, or swimming in the ocean, spending time at the beach is a favourite past time for summer lovers.
You can find beach bonfires, beach parties, and people of every age wearing swimsuits and enjoying the summer sun rays from sunrise to sunset, and long after the sun has disappeared.
***How do you celebrate summer? Are there any cultural traditions you honour?