International Solstice Celebration Day

The General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) designated June 21st as the “International Solstice Celebration Day”. Culture is the collection of distinctive cultural, economic, intellectual, and emotional features of a society or a social group, and it includes, besides art and literature, habits, ways of living together, concepts of meaning, traditions, and beliefs. Thus, culture is at the center of the latest debates about identity, social cohesion, and therefore the development of a knowledge-based economy. People around the world celebrate the day, which is additionally called the ‘Summer solstice’ within the hemisphere and also the ‘Winter solstice’ within the hemisphere, with feasts, bonfires, picnics, and traditional songs and dances. Therefore, in our increasingly diverse communities, harmonious interaction between people and groups of multiple, varying, and complex cultural identities, as well as their willingness to live together, is important. Cultural diversity is, in this sense, humanity’s shared heritage and it should be acknowledged and maintained for the good of present and future generations. Many say the unusual stone circle of Stonehenge was erected around 2500 BCE to set the date of the Summer Solstice.

June Solstice festivities have a time-honored tradition. The date of the June Solstice was used in ancient times to arrange calendars, and as a marker to decide when to plant and harvest crops. Bear in mind that the solstices and equinoxes symbolize the vitality of the processes of agricultural and food production, cultural heritage and their millennial practices; the United Nations General Assembly recognized that the celebration of these activities is an expression of the unity of cultural heritage and of centuries-long practices and also plays an important role in strengthening the relations between cultures on the basis of mutual respect and the values of peace and good neighborliness. It, therefore, recognized 21st June because of the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice. Some historians point to Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England as evidence of the very fact that ancient humans used the June Solstice as the way to arrange their calendars. It was believed that the solstice celebration reflects the unity of the cultural heritage in the world. Solstice is a phenomenon that happens when the sun’s course is either at a northern or southern limit until the direction is reversed. Therefore, many cultures celebrate various variations of the solstices, the equinoxes, and the midpoints between them, resulting in different holidays that occur from those times.