The Longest Day
Happy Summer Solstice!
We made Midsummer blomkrans, or flower head wreaths today. For the second year in a row, we were unable to celebrate Midsummer's Festival in Lindsborg, KS. Saturday was my youngest niece's birthday party, and family comes first. I was caught off guard today - I'm used to the summer solstice happening on June 21st. I managed to get our supplies this afternoon, and we crafted away! Our little library branch is located by a park, so we took a few pictures of our new wreaths. I also made a special trip to the main branch downtown, in order to pick up this book:
|The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice by Wendy Pfeffer,|
illustrated by Linda Bleck. Dutton Children's Books, 2010.
The Longest Day: Celebrating the Summer Solstice is one of four books about the seasons by Pfeffer and Bleck, and the first we ever checked out. It's a perfect package of information for kiddos: a scientific explanation of what the solstice is, what it meant historically (and mythologically) for different cultures, and how it is celebrated in different places today.
We learn about the importance of the sun and solstice in Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Greece. It touches on how parts of Stonehenge, in England, line up with the summer solstice. In the United States, the Chumash native tribe in California painted sunbursts around opening in cave ceilings, and there are mysterious rock constructions in New Hampshire and Wyoming, created by other Native Americans, that point to the importance of the solstice, too.
There are flower wreaths and fires in Europe: Lithuania, Germany, the Czech Republic, Sweden...
Of course, near the Arctic Circle, the sunlight lasts nearly 24 hours! In Nome, Alaska, people celebrate with a Midnight Sun Festival.
The book concludes with a page of "Solstice Facts," and several crafts. There are instructions for creating rock art, making a sundial, planting sunflowers, and making flower head wreaths.
Speaking of flower wreaths...
Have a beautiful season! Don't melt! (Seriously - it's boiling here in the Plains.)