Learn all about the summer solstice and how it is celebrated throughout the world in our seasonal-themed webquest.

 

Activity 1: Solstice science

Read the article below.

What are the solstices?

In the northern hemisphere, 21 June is the longest day the beginning of summer. 21 June is the shortest day winter solstice and marks the beginning of winter. Since and the movement of celestial objects, the solstices 

Answer the questions. You will find the answers both in the article above and at the 

www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/time/seasons.htm

  1. Why do we have seasons?
  2. What is the summer solstice?
  3. What is the winter solstice?
  4. What are the equinoxes?
  5. What and when is the autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere?
  6. What and when is the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere?

Activity 2: Summer solstice celebrations

Either working individually or in groups, choose one of the topics below. Visit the link and find the answers to the questions. Then prepare a short presentation about the topic, and share it with your classmates. Use the answers to the questions as guides when preparing the report.

A. Significance of the summer solstice

www.religioustolerance.org/summer-solstice-1.htm

 

  1. What is another name for the first full moon of June? Why?
  2. Why wasn’t May a popular month for weddings?
  3. Where does the term ‘honeymoon’ come from?

B. Midsummer celebrations in ancient times

www.religioustolerance.org/summer-solstice-1.htm

(Read the section ‘Midsummer celebrations in ancient and modern times’ about halfway 

Complete this chart to help you summarize the ideas in this section. Tip: not all questions here have an answer.

SocietyName of celebration?What or who did it celebrate?How was it celebrated?

Ancient China

 

     

Ancient Gaul

 

     

Ancient Rome

 

     

Ancient Sweden

 

     

Essenes (a Jewish group)

 

     

Christian countries

     

 

C. Modern Pagan celebrations

 

  1. According to the Pagans, what happens at Midsummer?
  2. Besides celebrating growth, what else do the Pagans celebrate in this holiday?
  3. Where do Pagans celebrate the solstice in England?

D. Celebrations at Stonehenge

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-44558588

  1. What is Stonehenge?
  2. How many people celebrated at Stonehenge in 2019?
  3. Can people walk amongst the stones?
  4. Why would a visitor not be allowed to see Stonehenge?
  5. For how long have people been celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge?

E. Celebrations in Denmark

 

  1. When does it take place?
  2. What’s the connection with bonfires?
  3. What’s the connection with witches?

F. Celebrations in Germany

 

  1. Describe customs related to:
    • a. lovers;
    • b. healing;
    • c. mountain fires in Bavaria.

G. Celebrations in California

solsticeparade.com/home/about

  1. How many spectators attend the event?
  2. Why did the festival move from the sunken gardens?
  3. What happens for kids at the Alameda Park Festival?
  4. What is the annual competition, and why does it happen?

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