The word Solstice is Latin in origin and translates as, Sol =the Sun, + stitere =standing still. On June 21, the North Pole is tilted most directly Sunward. Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere experience this as the longest day and shortest night of the year. On December 21, the Winter Solstice, the North Pole is pointed away from the Sun giving us in the Northern Hemisphere, our shortest day, and longest night. This tilting of the Earth’s rotational axis gives us our seasons. During each Solstice, the Sun appears to both rise and set at the exactly opposite spot on the horizon. The Solar Calendars like Stonehenge and the Sun Dagger in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico operate by indicating this point.
Symbols of Summer:
The rose, the rampant vine and the bright sun. Modern symbols include flip-flops, icy pitchers of lemonade, beach umbrellas and baseball games! Foods of Summer:
Grilled foods, salads, tomatoes, zucchini and lemonade.
Colors of Summer:
Brights: lime green, lemon yellow, sunny orange, sky blue.
Stones of Autumn:
Cancer is white stones like shell and pearl. Leo is gold stones like citrine and tiger-eye. Virgo is blue stones like sodalite and sapphire.
Activities of Summer:
Barbecues, picnics, lawn-mowing, parades and fireworks, weeding, swimming outside.
The Farmer’s Almanac’s Solstice Page
The Chaco Canyon Sun Dagger petroglyphs
An interactive model of the Sun Dagger.