On Friday, June 21, the northern hemisphere will officially welcome the first day of summer, which is known as the summer solstice or Litha in nature-based faiths. Not only is this day one of the main sabbats in Paganism, it's also the longest day of the year, when the sun will reach its northernmost point in the sky. And no matter how you define your spirituality, extra sunshine is always worth celebrating.
Traditionally, Litha festivals lasted all day, in a nod to the sun's extended stay, and people would gather at Stonehenge to see the sun shine through a certain point in the structure. To this day, Stonehenge still holds a yearly solstice event that's open to the public. Other nature-based celebrations throughout history, including ceremonies performed by Native American tribes and ancient Chinese solstice festivals, have also paid tribute to the sun and its life-bringing properties.
Luckily, for those of us who won't have time for an entire fire festival this Friday, there are a few smaller ways to honor the changing of the seasons. Ahead, learn how you can celebrate the summer solstice in your everyday life — and how you can take advantage of that extra sunlight.