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Video: Celebrating the Solstice

Lanterns, dances, flowers and bonfires were some of the elements used in celebrations all over the world in observance of the Summer and Winter Solstices.

Let's tour around the world to check out the different celebrations: Solstice at Stonehenge, Feast of Saint John's bonfires in Spain, Inti Raymi in Peru, we tripantu in Chile and Kupala Day in Russia or Midsummer's night in Poland.

Solstice dawn over Stonehenge, UK. Image by Flickr user Taro Taylor (CCBY).

Solstice dawn over Stonehenge, UK. Image by Flickr user Taro Taylor (CCBY).

At Stonehenge in England, the crowds met around the stone circle to receive the longest day of the year under a cover of clouds, uncertainly cheering since it was very hard to tell when the sun made its appearance. As a3HeadedMonkey, who uploaded this video humorously dubbed: “Good ol’ British summer at its finest.”

In Coruña, Spain, bonfires, drinking and parades marked the Bonfires of Saint John's festivities. It is traditional for teens and children to jump over the bonfires an allotted number of times for good luck: sadly, this year's celebrations were marred by the death of two people, one of which died when he tripped while trying to jump over one of the biggest bonfires, perishing in the middle of the fire to unsuccessful attempts to rescue him by onlookers.

http://youtu.be/pC4avU3W5bU

In front of the temple of Sacsayhuaman in Cuzco, Peru every year they recreate the traditional Inti Raymi celebration which marks the beginning of the Incan new year. The last Inti Raymi celebrated by the Incas took place in 1535 after which the Catholic Church and the Spanish Conquest put a stop to it, until 1944, when it was brought back following the descriptions of the historian Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

YouTube user gzoraca has recorded many videos of cultural dances and events in Cuzco which can be seen on his channel, including the following two of this year's Inti Raymi showing the entrance of the Inca and then the entrance of the Colla, his spouse:

We Tripantu [es] is a Mapuche indian celebration to recognize the start of a new year at the Winter Solstice. The next video shows school children in Chile dancing in a celebration of this indigenous festivity:

In the town of Maloyaroslavets in Russia they celebrate Ivan Kupala day, and in this midsummer festivity. tradition is kept alive with girls wearing flowers in their hair, community bonfires and dancing:

And last, but not least, a record-breaking celebration in Poland, where thousands of paper lanterns were lit and released to float in the night sky. The magical videos speak for themselves (via Neatorama):

Did you celebrate the solstice? Please tell us how in the comments!

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