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In many countries, the 21st of June is just the longest day of the year, when the sun starts to set late into the evening. However, in Ireland, the Summer Solstice is a nation-wide festival, when ancient traditions come back to life in all of their splendour. This pagan holiday has been a sacred occasion for everybody to celebrate Midsummer’s Eve since before Saint Patrick and the advent of Christianity.
Travelling through Ireland is undeniably a life-changing experience that will take you to the hearts of rich culture and breathtaking landscapes. However, visiting during the Summer Solstice will allow you to live a unique experience and take part in the celebrations that bring to life the spirit of this holiday.
In Gaelic, the world for Summer Solstice is Grianstad – a term that means “sun-stop” and refers to the fact that the sun will rise and set on the same point in the horizon for a few days before and after the holiday. In Celtic, the term Alban Hefin for this event can be translated into Light of Summer.
Just like in ancient times, today, Summer Solstice festivals mark the beginning of summer and are characterized by bonfires, feasts, and hours spent outdoors with your community. Beyond the day-long singing and dancing, this holiday still maintains its original meaning: celebrating the beginning of summer and praying for a fruitful harvest.
Joining the celebrations at this time of the year is guaranteed to leave you with life-long memories or a beautiful country.
Learn all about the Summer Solstice before your trip below.
Infographic designed by Celtic Cross