CultureUnited States of America
June 21 is the longest day of the year, also known as midsummer's day or the summer solstice. For thousands of years, starting with ancient druids, it has been a tradition to celebrate this day and "worship" the sun as it shines directly above the northern hemisphere. From folk dancing, to bongo drums, to sitting around bonfires until sunrise, these are the best places to celebrate the summer solstice next month.
This ancient site in Wiltshire in the UK is perhaps the most famous place in the world to celebrate the summer solstice. Thousands of people flock there every year to gather around the stones whose origins date back 5000 years and remains shrouded in mystery. The stones line up perfectly thus allowing the sun to shine through them on midsummer's day. Stonehenge can be accessed for free, and every year a huge variety of people and traditions rock up including hippies, pagans as well as "druids" that play drums and dance around a fire.
Secret Solstice Festival, Iceland
This not-so-secret festival takes place just outside of Iceland's capital, Reykjavik. Iceland is the home to the midnight sun as during the midsummer days the sun only sets around midnight and rises not much later than 2.30am. This festival draws in thousands of people from all over the world to celebrate with a three-day music event where partygoers cannot tell the difference between 10am or 10pm.
If you can't make the festivities in other places around the world for the exact dates of the summer solstice, head to Longyearbyen in Norway which is the northernmost city in the entire world. Here the sun rises in April and doesn't fully set again until the end of August. You can come here to celebrate the midnight sun at any time during the summer.
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Another place where ancient traditions come into play. The pyramids of Giza are beautiful to visit at any time of year, but the most impressive time to see them is during the summer solstice. As the sun sets it seems to slot directly behind the two largest pyramids creating the most beautiful red-orange backdrop of sky with the imposing silhouettes of the pyramids and sphynxes in front.
Times Square, New York City
New York takes on a slightly more modern approach to celebrate summer solstice. Thousands of people head to Times Square with a yoga mat to take on one of the world's largest outdoor yoga classes. They stay from dawn until dusk practicing the art and waiting to perform their perfect sun salutations at midday when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky.