Summer Solstice – Litha – midsummer is one of four solar holidays and is considered the turning point when the sun reaches its height and shines the longest. A Pagan holiday – one of the eight sabbats during the year. It celebrates the beginning of summer and the traditions are borrowed from many cultures as most ancient cultures celebrated the summer solstice. The Celts celebrated with hilltop bonfires and dancing and many would try to jump over the bonfire for good luck. Other European traditions included setting large wheels on fire and rolling them down a hill into water. A day that is celebrated on the longest day of the year and in some traditions Litha is when a battle between light and dark takes place. In the battle the Oak King (daylight) and the Holly King (darkness) battle for control, battling for power and the balance shifts. The Oak King rules from the winter solstice to the summer solstice – Yule to Litha. During Lith the Holly King wins the battle and the days will steadily get darker until Yule.
Today, Litha is a day on inner power and brightness. Some will find a quiet spot and meditate about light and dark forces in the world. Whereas some will celebrate the holiday outside. Some will celebrate it traditionally and have a fire ritual – a large bonfire or light a fire pit.
This is a time to practice love magic or get married – handfasting.