Solstice – the term solstice means “sun stands still”.

In german we say „Sonnenwende“ which means „sun’s turning point“.

Summer Solstice Sunrise overStonehenge

At the 21st of December 2013 is winter solstice, the longest night of the year and the shortest day.

The next Summer solstice will be 21st of June 2014 with the longest day and the shortest night.

Those dates very important calendar-references for ancient civilizations around the globe.

Jahr Sommersonnenwende Wintersonnenwende
2010 21. Juni 13:28 Uhr MESZ 22. Dezember 00:38 MEZ
2011 21. Juni 19:16 Uhr MESZ 22. Dezember 06:30 MEZ
2012 21. Juni 01:09 Uhr MESZ 21. Dezember 12:12 MEZ
2013 21. Juni 07:04 Uhr MESZ 21. Dezember 18:11 MEZ
2014 21. Juni 12:51 Uhr MESZ 22. Dezember 00:03 MEZ
2015 21. Juni 18:38 Uhr MESZ 22. Dezember 05:48 MEZ
2016 21. Juni 00:34 Uhr MESZ 21. Dezember 11:44 MEZ
2017 21. Juni 06:24 Uhr MESZ 21. Dezember 17:28 MEZ
2018 21. Juni 12:07 Uhr MESZ 21. Dezember 23:23 MEZ
2019 21. Juni 17:54 Uhr MESZ 22. Dezember 05:19 MEZ
2020 20. Juni 23:44 Uhr MESZ 21. Dezember 11:02 MEZ



There are various ways of celebrating solstice.

The Roman feast of Saturnalia, honoring the god Saturn, was a week-long feast that included the observance of the winter solstice. Parties took place and houses were decorated with boughs of laurel and evergreen trees, and lamps remained lit to ward off the spirits of darkness. Much visiting took place, along with gift giving, and processions of revelers took to the streets. Pagan Scandinavia celebrated a winter festival called Yule or jul. Many of our Christmas traditions were inherited from these celebrations and you can incorporate them into your own solstice celebrations…along with creating your own personal traditions.

When the Roman’s became Christians they also brought „their“ religion all over Europe and forced it upon the people living there with „nature“-gods.

Japan’s Shintoism is an similar believe that there is a „ghost“ in every tree.

Backside: The german’s sacrificed not only trees to the „gods“ but also „humans“… preferable Romans…. which is of course a Barbarian thing to do… to nail a Roman soldier at a Tree.

Bonfires in German Summer Solstice Celebrations

Fire is the traditional form of German Summer Solstice celebrations.  Early pagan bonfires honored the Sun and the hope that the energy from their flames prolonged the day.  Fire wheels hurtled down the hills representing the Sun’s movement.   If the wheel flamed, all the way down the hill, farmers expected a plentiful harvest.  If not, lean times lay ahead.  Today, the German Summer Solstice celebrations bonfires are among friends, family, and neighbors enjoying the weather and tradition.  Johannistag, the feast of St. John the Baptist, is June 24, and is a national holiday.  While clergy tried to separate the pagan and Christian event, they tend to blend.

Swabian Fires & German Summer Solstice Celebrations

In 1997, I was responsible for a manufacturing operation in Muhlhausen, Germany, not far from Stuttgart.  One June 20st my colleagues hosted a dinner at the top of the nearby Swabian hills.  We feasted on Wiener schnitzel and corn beer.  As the red sun sank behind the hills, sparks of bon fires exploded across the countryside.  Stars filled the sky and the landscape of bonfires seemed to reflect them.  I imagined the joy and excitement of those celebrating around each burning dot.

German Summer Solstice celebrations not only hail the warmer season, but link today’s Germans with centuries of ancestors in a wondrous evening of fire.S


Solstice in pictures:

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