We welcome the first day of summer on June 21, with visions of BBQs, long days under the sun, sprinklers, and popsicles. The summer solstice derives from the Latin meaning “sun standing still,” where the day is the longest of the year and the night is the shortest in the Northern hemisphere. The solstice is a celebration of the sun, fertility, the earth and an appreciation and unity with nature.

The sun has been a source of power and inspiration for many civilizations throughout history. The Celts celebrate the solstice through dance, believing that this would increase the sun’s energy. The Druids celebrated this day as the wedding of heaven and earth, creating the concept behind June being a lucky month to get married in. In England, thousands of people gather at the Stonehenge every June 21 to watch the sunrise and celebrate. Yogis have turned to Times Square in New York City every summer solstice for “Mind Over Madness Yoga” where yoga is practiced all day long in the center of one of the busiest places in the world.

With its celebration tracing back to ancient rituals, bringing in the summer with a bang is quintessential. Throw a summer celebration BBQ, watch the sunrise or sunset, or head to the beach to bathe in the rays of the sun on its celebratory day.