Summer Solstice and the Strawberry Moon (Full Rose Moon)

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

This year, the Summer Solstice falls on this date, 20 June, and is the longest day of the year, when there are approximately 17 hours of light and when the Sun is at its highest point of the year in the northern hemisphere. The name comes from the Latin solstitium meaning “sun stands still”. It happens because the sun stops heading north at the Tropic of Cancer and then returns back southwards.

In ancient pagan societies the Summer Solstice was hugely significant, it was seen as an important time for fertility, when the harvests of the coming year were blessed. When Christianity entered the pagan areas rather than displace the practices of the old religion it simply incorporated many of them into its own observances under a new name. Because of this, many pagan traditions survive up to the present day. The traditions of the ancients live on in the…

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