In ancient days in China, summer solstice celebrated the feminine aspects of life, and according to the Tao, the best metaphor for the feminine is the water. As such, a celebration near the water counts as a nearly perfect place to have your summer solstice party. And for those who have a boat, you should include your boat and the access it gives you to the water in your list of summer solstice ideas.
Now that you have the place for the party, here are five ways to have fun on your boat and celebrate solstice at the same time.
What is Summer Solstice?
According to Time and Date, the summer solstice celebration reaches back thousands of years. It celebrates the longest day and shortest night of the year, which typically falls around the third week of June. Sites like Stonehenge are said to be dedicated to the celebration of solstice, so this gives you some idea of how important this holiday was to ancient peoples.
Ancient peoples celebrated with feasts and dancing and sometimes, even with courtship rituals. Although the ancient Chinese celebrated it as a day of the feminine (and indirectly, of water), many cultures celebrate it as a day of the sun due to how long the day is. Your summer equinox party can include elements of both.
1. A Little Sun and a Little Yoga
If the deck of your boat is large enough, start your morning with two solstice staples: sun and yoga. According to an article on Rhythms of Play, the United Nations declared summer solstice the International Day of Yoga.
One fun way to celebrate summer solstice on your boat is to try some early morning yoga in the sunshine with your boatmates. Try some sun salutations to celebrate this day of the sun. Or if you don't feel quite as able to tackle a yoga routine, try a little meditation in the sun instead. Be sure to include sunblock for good measure.
2. Decorate Your Boat With Greenery
In calmer moments during your solstice celebration, make garlands of flowers and vines to decorate your boat. Before you set sail, gather up some native flowers and plants from the shores near your boat. Bound them with pretty ribbon and make decorations for your boat to celebrate the longest day of the year.
3. Create New Resolutions
The New Year doesn’t have to be the only time you make resolutions. Summer solstice can be, too. Why not gather your friends who are on the boat with you and ask them to share their resolutions?
Make them fun, bucket-list resolutions, like spending solstice every year with one another? Or even better, plan on taking a cruise or a trip to Stonehenge on solstice the following year.
4. Have a Water Fight
If you have strong swimmers, water balloons, and a few water guns, start a water fight to celebrate this holiday of water and sun. Fill up balloons and toss them at one another. Dive off the back of the boat to get away. Get a squirt gun and bean a friend in the back. Just be sure to wipe the deck clean of water when you’re done so no one slips and falls.
5. Sit Under the Stars
San Diego Family recommends a good bout of stargazing for summer solstice. And why not? Solstice occurs because of the stars. (The Earth is tilted toward our very own star during solstice.)
Take advantage of the darkness that will likely come from being away from the glare of city lights and spend solstice evening, when it finally comes, appreciating the stars. Pick out the constellations. See if you can spot falling stars.
Or pretend that you're ancient sailors, trying to find your way with only the stars to guide you. Make up stories of your under-the-stars adventures and share them with your boatmates.
Final Thoughts on Solstice
If you’re feeling stuck about how to celebrate summer solstice, the ideas in this post should point you in the right direction. For example, the celebration of solstice can start with some yoga or meditation as the sun comes up over the stern of your boat.
Later, you can bring the fruits of the season onto your boat by making decorations for your boat from the flowers and vines that grow near where you dock.
Even later still, you and your friends can toss some water balloons at each other, and then share your solstice bucket-list items together as you dry out under the sun.
Finally, end the day with the stars. Give thanks for the season, the beauty of the earth and the feminine, and for the friends and family who will join you on your boat. Happy solstice!