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Welcome summer – oh how we've missed you!

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Postcard from Whitstable by www.suzy-homemaker.co.uk

Barbecues, Wimbledon, lazy days in the garden and light evenings around the fire pit. Strawberries and cream, flip-flops with bling, sending up prayers to the weather Gods and chasing the very last rays of sunshine...

It must be...

b2ap3_thumbnail_summer.jpg

Source

Today marks the first day of summer, 2014. Wait… what? Hasn't summer been here for 20 days already?  

Well, yes… and no!

According to the weathermen, the seasons run from the first to the last calendar day of the quarter, as this is when they record the annual temperature cycles.

Meteorological Seasons

Meteorological Seasons by www.sueco.biz

However if you've been with me since the beginning of this little ole blog (thank you!) you'll know that here on Planet Suzy Homemaker, we celebrate the changing of the seasons the way our ancestors did... astronomically.

Astronomical Seasons

Astronomical Seasons by www.sueco.biz

Astronomical seasons are based on the position of the Earth in relation to the sun. This means that the actual dates may vary from year to year, but they all fall around the 21st of the month.

Sunrise over Stonehenge

Sunrise over Stonehenge (Source

The ancient festival of Litha, or the Summer Solstice, is a time of love, abundance and joy and is one ancient festival that seems to have been readily accepted into modern day society.

Summer-Solstice-at-Stoneh-008.jpg

21,000 people gathered at Stonehenge in 2013 to welcome the longest day of the year (Source)

Conjuring up echoes of the past, images of people converging on Stonehenge are both familiar and welcomed by many except, perhaps, the Wiltshire locals.

And users of the A303...

If you think you might like to celebrate the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, English Heritage provides managed open access to the ancient site. You'll find all the details, here.

Trying to explain Litha can be a bit confusing, because although it's called "Midsummer" it's actually the start of the season.

I know!

Right now, the sun is at its highest point in the sky and bathes us in more sunlight than on any other day of the year.

Bliss.

After today, it's the slow, downhill journey into winter.

Boo!

But before that, we have three months of glorious summer to look forward to!

Yay!

(Let's try not to mention that British of all summer staples... rain! SSSSShhhhh Sue!)

If you're lucky enough to be going on holiday, have a fabulous time! But whatever you're doing, enjoy it. I can't wait to spend more time outdoors and see more of friends and loved ones. I'm also really looking forward to doing some more exploring of our local area - just me, Beloved and a picnic. Can't wait!

Get out there and enjoy your summer… whatever the weather. This is arguably the most eagerly awaited time of the year and flies by so quickly, so make the most of it!

If you would like to know more about the origins, meanings and rituals associated with Litha, check out this fabulous piece from the Pagan Poet.

In the meantime, anyone for Pimm's?

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A hui hou,

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