6.21.2016

Polar Day, the Summer Solstice, and a Free Book

Solstice
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 ViĆĄnjan 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!

23 comments:

  1. Thanks Julie ... I see I bought the Turnagain Arm ... and now I will be able to read it - as I won't have connectivity for a while ... looking forward to it - and no wonder you and others of us are enticed by the Solstice ...

    Cheers - I just love these long days ... Hilary

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    1. Thanks for getting it, Hilary! I hope you enjoy it.

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  2. I loved Polar Day, and The Turnagain Arm :-) We usually see the Stonehenge celebrations on the news, but I guess the football and EU referendum usurped it this year. Of course, as usual, the summer solstice was celebrated in the rain :-(

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    1. Thanks, I'm so glad you liked the books! I'd love to see Stonehenge some time.

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  3. I've always liked the solstices and equinoxes. The only problems with the summer solstice is that it means the days are now growing shorter. Rats!

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    1. Ken, I'm weird in that regard as I love that the days start getting shorter. I know, I know, I'm nuts LOL. :D

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  4. Happy summer! I've never participated in any solstice celebrations, but it would be fun to do a few of those ones. Indianapolis is doing yoga in the square like NY.

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    1. Oh, that's cool, I never heard about any kind of yoga celebrations until I saw this about NY. I wonder if other places do it as well.

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  5. I'm glad when we get past the Summer Solstice because I don't care too much for it being so light out in the early morning and late evening. It'd be awesome to visit Stonehenge during the solstice.

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    1. I'm totally with you 100%. Although I don't mind the early morning light but I hate when it is light until nearly 10:00.

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  6. I like the sound of the celebration in Croatia.

    I've been reading Polar Day and thoroughly enjoying it. Doesn't make me want BBQ though. :)

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    1. Haha, I guess not. ;) Thanks for reading it! And I thought of you as soon as I read about the event in Croatia.

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  7. I've been to Stonehenge and was in awe. I wanted to touch but they don't let you. LOL. Thanks for sharing, Julie!

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    1. Oh, how cool! I can understand why they won't let you touch but it would be so hard not to!

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  8. I loved The Turnagain Arms. On this side of the world a friend rang yesterday to say how happy he was that it was Winter Solstice - and he could feel as if summer was coming again. I don't agree. Winter is my friend. And I loved the twenty plus hour day I experienced in Antartica.

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    1. Winter is my friend as well. :D And I'm so glad you enjoy the Turnagain, thanks so much!

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  9. You always post the most interesting information, Julie!!! Turnagain Arms was awesome!!!!

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    1. Aww, thanks, I'm so glad you liked it!

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  10. Wow! You've passed on some really interesting information. I love learning new things, and thank you for the post. Visiting Alaska is on my bucket list, and seems quite fascinating. Hugs...RO

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    1. Hi, Ro, and thank you! Great to meet you! I hope to visit Alaska someday too. Fingers crossed we both make it.

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  11. That some great background about it, Julie!

    I hope you get a lot of downloads for Turnagain Arm! It was a great story. :)

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    1. Oh, thanks, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

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  12. More summer reading for me, Julie! Thanks.

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