Throughout human history, we have always recognised the summer solstice. Ancient civilisations the world over have celebrated it as the longest day or shortest shadow of the year. Described as both midsummer and the start of summer it is widely associated with the fertility of the earth and therefore feminine power.
- In ancient China, the summer solstice would celebrate the feminine yin (while the masculine yang gets his moment at the Winter Solstice).
- The Sioux people of North America honoured the sun in their rituals at this time of year, including the symbolic connecting earth and heaven by felling and raising a large tree.
- Across pagan Europe, people would dance and light ritual bonfires to represent the power of the sun at its peak.
Pagan rituals were largely wiped out by Christianity spreading across Europe. However, in some instances, the practices live on in the Christian traditions of that region. For example, in Scandinavia, St John the Baptist is celebrated on 24th June and includes both traditional midsummer celebrations and Christian symbolism.
Connecting with nature
Today, the solstice – or Litha or Epona – is still widely celebrated and fertility remains a dominant theme. We acknowledge feminine power with Mother Nature in full bloom during the summer months. After all, the land is bountiful and the food is plentiful during the year’s most active growing season.
Through movements such as neo-paganism and New Age ways of thinking, the summer solstice is also about reconnecting with nature. The awareness of our impact on the environment, being outdoors, respecting our environment and each other are all key aspects of modern-day midsummer celebrations. Creativity, community and self-expression, through dancing and music, are as integral to our worship today as they have always been.
And, of course, the most notable celebration of the summer solstice is the large gathering of people at Stonehenge, UK.
Flowers of Summer Solstice Celebrations
Some flowers have particular importance for the summer solstice. Here are some of the key blooms:
Nothing represents summer like flowers! Any flowers are suitable choices for displays that celebrate the summer. They are popular choices for decorating homes, commercial or communal spaces. Plus flowers are a favourite choice for headdresses by revellers celebrating the solstice.
These beautiful flower garlands from Floresy are perfect for any summer celebration. You can use them to decorate a table as shown in the images but also on a fire surround or mantle, across the front of a shelf or reception desk – you can even fix the garland to the wall.
Oak is particularly symbolic. Trees are often the focus of worship and oak represents strength and endurance. It also represents a doorway and so, in the context of the solstice, crossing the threshold into the second part of the year where Summer’s abundance gives way to Winter’s frugality.
Floresy offers a bespoke large tree design service. You can have your very own artificial oak tree tailor-made to fit your requirements.
More often associated with the Winter Solstice, mistletoe is still important to the summer festival because of its strong potency when found on oak trees. Mistletoe has associations with fertility and when cut from an oak tree, represents the powerful oak tree losing its strength as the seasons begin to wane.
Early pagan cultures believed that herbs were at their most potent during the summer hence their association with the summer solstice. This sweet collection of potted artificial herbs from Floresy are a great choice to add a touch of nature to any setting. Herbs represent health and fresh, quality food. A great choice for a spa or restaurant.
Floresy has over 150 artificial flowers, trees and plant products ready to decorate your business or home. Being artificial means you can easily store them out of season, ready for the next opportunity for display. What not browse our online shop to find your perfect artificial plant solution?