You don’t have to be a hippie to pay homage to the longest day of the year. Summer solstice, or midsummer’s day, is a chance to make the most of the sunlight that hits our blue planet – here is where to head if you want a slice of the action!
What better place to party than Reykjavik, where the sun doesn’t set for three days over the summer solstice. So much for the longest day of the year, make it the longest party of the year! Revellers should head to the Secret Solstice Festival, an annual celebration that marks midsummer with music and fun.
If three days sounds a bit much, maybe you should head to Anchorage, where the sun is in the sky for 22 hours over the solstice. Anchorage is also partial to partying as a way of celebrating midsummer, so you’ll find plenty of activities suitable for all ages all day long. To find out more keep your beady peepers peeled on the Anchorage Downtown Partnership events page.
On the other hand, if you feel that the three days of sunshine in Iceland is a little tame, maybe you should visit Longyearbyen, the most northerly settlement in Norway, which offers a full four months of daytime! It’s a little complicated but April 18th is the first day the sun doesn’t set, so something known as “the midnight sun period” officially starts. Midsummer on the 21st to 23rd June doesn’t mark the longest day, instead it is when the sun is at its highest altitude. The 23rd August is the last night the sun doesn’t set, so the “the midnight sun period” is officially over!
No blog about midsummer celebrations would be complete without mention of our very own Stonehenge! The ancient stone monument is believed to be closely connected with the midsummer sun, with the sun making an appearance over the “heel stone” as it rises. While parties are no longer part and parcel of the celebrations here, English Heritage does open up the site to approximately 20,000 visitors on the day. Sunrise is at 4.45am on Sunday 21st June 2015 – be there or miss the action! To find out more about access this year, visit the eFestivals Stonehenge page.