Birmingham news Litha 2022 summer solstice rituals for Midsummer festival in Wheel of the Year PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - When is Litha and what is it? It's time to make honey cake and buttermilk bread as modern Pagans and Wicca followers celebrate the summer solstice, one of eight festivals on their Wheel of the Year

Birmingham news Litha 2022 summer solstice rituals for Midsummer festival in Wheel of the Year PremierLeague-News.Com

PremierLeague-News.Com - When is Litha and what is it? It's time to make honey cake and buttermilk bread as modern Pagans and Wicca followers celebrate the summer solstice, one of eight festivals on their Wheel of the Year

Birmingham news  Litha 2022 summer solstice rituals for Midsummer festival in Wheel of the Year PremierLeague-News.Com
21 June 2022 - 01:30

PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Summer Solstice 2022 is upon us and it's time to celebrate. The solstice is an event of huge significance in the astronomical, meteorological, astrological and religious calendars. For most people, Summer Solstice is well known as the longest day of the year. From then on the days will start drawing in until the Winter Solstice on December 21, which is the shortest day of the year. While some celebrate the Summer Solstice as Midsummer's Day, that's actually a couple of days later on June 24 as it was merged with the Christian festival of St John's Day. Druids, other pagans and revellers gather at Stonehenge to observe sunrise at the two equinoxes and two solstices each year (Image: Getty Images Europe) Modern pagans call the celebrations Litha, and many will mark it on Summer Solstice day of June 21, as mentioned in the calendar of festivals on The Goddess and The Green Man website. But others - such as ExploreWicca - say it should be marked on Midsummer's Day of June 24. The actual solstice - the day when the sun reaches its highest point and when daylight is longest - is June 21 this year. That's when revellers gather at Stonehenge to watch the sunrise. So what does Litha mean and how is it celebrated among pagan communities? A woman wears a colourful head-dress at Stonehenge where people celebrated the dawn of the longest day in the UK on Thursday June 21, 2018 (Image: PA) What is the meaning of Litha? Among modern pagan worshippers, Summer Solstice is known as Litha. In olden times, the Saxons used the name Ærra Liða - translating as Before Litha - for the lunar month that takes place around June, and the name Æfterra Liða (After Litha) for the equivalent of our July. The saint and historian Bede wrote that Litha means 'gentle' or 'navigable' because the sea breezes were calm and made sailing easier. Modern pagans have taken the name Litha for the solstice because June is when the celestial event occurs. The sun breaks the horizon and shines through the stones at Stonehenge onto crowds of people celebrating the dawn of the longest day on Thursday June 21, 2018 (Image: PA) Litha, one of the festivals in the Wheel of the Year in modern paganism, is the time of a battle between light and dark. The Oak King is ruler of the year between Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice, and the Holly King from summer to winter. At each solstice they battle for power, with the Oak King defeated by the Holly King at the summer solstice. Today's pagans see this as a day where they can reflect on the conflict of light and darkness in their own life and in the world in general. Is this what the Celts called Summer Solstice? Another term altogether was used for the Summer Solstice by the ancient Celts who were the predominant culture in Britain and western Europe before the arrival of the Romans and then the Saxons. Celtic culture remained largely untouched in Ireland and parts of Wales, Scotland and Cornwall until the arrival of Christianity. It's said that the Celtic druids referred to the Summer Solstice as Alban Hefin, which means The Light of Summer. This was seen as a time of change and new beginnings. It was halfway through the growing season so Celts performed rituals to try to guarantee a good harvest.

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. It was also customary for lovers to clasp hands and jump over bonfires. This was thought to bring luck to their relationship. Some believed the higher the lovers jumped, the higher their crops would grow. "Bonfires were lit on top of hills, at crossroads or in large openings. It was a time of great merriment. They would also pray to the Sun Goddess, who the Irish Celts knew as Grainne (pronounced GRAWN-yah). She was both the Winter Queen and Solar Sun Goddess, who was thought to protect seeds during the winter and nurture them during the summer months." What are the rituals of Litha? Typically, pagan worshippers might wish each other a Happy Solstice or Happy Litha on this day. Blessings and greetings send love at solstice time and wish people joy, happiness and hope for the future. Practices performed by modern pagans may include cleansing and purification rituals, pet blessings and consecration of charms and pendants. You can find more details here and here on carrying out those particular activities. Buttermilk bread, elderflower champagne and honey cake are some suggested recipes for food and drink to use in the celebrations. It's said that old European cultures lit bonfires and rolled burning wheels downhill into rivers. The wheel represented the sun, and it probably symbolised the point at which the length of the day reached a turning point. After solstice, daylight begins to reduce as we start the downhill journey towards winter. These days, small fires can be lit indoors or outside to represent the large bonfires of ancient times. Candles can be used instead if a fire just isn't possible. Druids are said to have gone out looking for magical herbs on this day and even in modern-day Wales, the solstice is still known as Gathering Day. Even if you're not picking ritual herbs, it's said to be a good time to collect honey and harvest early fruit and vegetable crops. And if you're stuck at home on your own, due to coronavirus restrictions, there are solitary Litha rituals that can be done to celebrate this special day. Read More Related Articles Cost of living warning over £1,270 bill for using your hot tub Read More Related Articles Why we keep getting heatwaves - and what Met Office forecasts for future UK summers

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