|Fairbanks, Alaska at 12:43 a.m. on June 21, 2008|
Even though my book Polar Day has been out for more than a year now, I still can't help but think of it when the summer solstice rolls around here in the Northern Hemisphere.
The book, like its predecessor, is set in Fairbanks, Alaska, land of both the midnight sun and the Polar Night. I'm not sure why, but I have always been fascinated by the solstices and the phenomenon of 24 hour daylight or darkness. I'm glad I don't have to live with either extreme!
I know the solstice actually happened yesterday, but I figured it's not too late for me to share a few celebrations that are tied to the event.
|The Midnight Sun over Alaska|
- Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England is perhaps the most famous location for solstice activities. Every year a host of revelers gather at the ancient site to witness the sun rising above the stone circle. For reasons we will probably never know, the circle was built so that it aligns perfectly with the sunrise on the solstice.
- New York city has held the "Solstice in Times Square" yoga event since 2003. The yoga begins at 7 am and continues until sunset. The day has also been named National Yoga Day as a result of this event.
- In a tradition that dates back to medieval times, fires are lit in the Alpine region of Austria in honor of the solstice. Party-goers enjoy panoramic views of the fires dotting the mountainside from high up in the Alpine towns.
- Astrofest in Croatia brings astronomers and star-gazers to the famous Višnjan Observatory. This festival combines science and spirituality for a magical take on the solstice.
|The Midnight Sun game in Fairbanks|
- Finally, my favorite solstice celebration is the Midnight Sun baseball game held each year in Fairbanks on the summer solstice. The game begins around 10:30 each year and artificial lighting has never been used. The tradition has been going on since 1906. I thought it sounded like such a fun event I included it to help kick off the action in Polar Day. Although in my version the event didn't stay fun for very long. ;)
Since I'm talking about celebrations, I thought I'd add a little celebration of my own and offer my ebook The Turnagain Arm for free this week on Amazon. The Turnagain Arm is the prequel to both Polar Night and Polar Day, and the events of this story play in to both novels. If you're interested in checking it out, get your free copy here.
Have you ever taken part in a solstice celebration?
Happy Summer to everyone here in the Northern Hemisphere and Happy Winter to our Southern Hemisphere friends!