By DEBORAH ANN TRIPOLDI
The summer solstice occurred at 6:07 a.m. on Thursday, June 21. It also sometimes falls on June 20 or 22. The sabbat is known by many names such as the summer solstice, Midsummer, in Druidry its Alban Hefin—light of the summer, and is known as Litha to many Pagans. Here are some facts about the sabbat.
1. The summer solstice is when the North Pole is closest to the sun. It’s directly over the Tropic of Cancer.
It’s the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere (shortest in the south), with the sun at its highest and at its max. And it’s the first day of summer.
2. Solar God is crowned by the Goddess as the King of Summer.
Druids usually acknowledge the sabbat with a bonfire and celebrations the night before. All Celtic Druid holidays begin at dusk the day before.
3. Alban Hefin also means light of the shore.
Druids have a great adoration for places that are in between. The seashore is one of those places where the earth, sea and sky join.
4. St John’s Wort is known as the herb of the sun.
It’s bright yellow and in the shape of a star symbolizing the sun. St. John’s Day follows closely to the solstice on June 24.
5. When the full moon falls on the solstice its called the honey moon.
The last time this occurred was June 20, 2016. The time before that was 1948; a span of 68 years for the rare occasion. It’s called a honey moon because the moon seems very low and radiates an amber color.
6. Solstice is the Latin word for sol, which means sun and sister — to stand still.
The sun gives the illusion that it’s standing still.
7. It also was a time of some sadness for Druids.
From now until the winter solstice, Alban Arthan the sun’s strength begins to decline. Its the waning part of the wheel of the year.
Want to celebrate the Solstice?
On June 22, the Sanctuary Community Garden will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at First Congregational Church, 40 S. Fullerton Ave., from 6 to 7 p.m. Then join for Summer Solstice ArtBar Fundraiser. Proceeds from the tickets for ArtBar will go toward breaking ground for yet another Community Garden. The produce of this garden will be donated to local soup kitchens and food programs. The garden was funded by Partners for Health Foundation and the Northeast Earth Coalition. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets priced at $40.
Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, 67 Church St., is holding a Summer solstice celebration Friday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rotunda at UUCM. For more information, call 973-744-6276.