What is it that your state or country worships? It seems like every place has some sort of celebration derived from the thing that makes it special: flowers, birds, weather, music, food. It is through these times that people come together and bring on the local patriotism so to speak. People become more of a WE.
Alaska seems to have a higher level of patriotism than any other state in general, but outside of fishing, nothing tops Solstice. Alaskans praise the sun, and carry an intense level of pride for where they get to live. It’s almost embarrassing how many people you overhear talking about it while doing general life activities. You can’t turn on the radio without hearing a dj talk about the sun, again, as if we haven’t seen it in a very long time, which isn’t really true. Business advertisements have sayings posted about the sun. It’s a topic of passion for life.
Solstice is something to celebrate everywhere really, but in the land of the Midnight Sun, it is almost parallel to a religious ceremony or a cultural tradition. I’ve been celebrating solstice since I moved here in 1996 and I can’t say that I ever celebrated it before that year. While it’s obvious as to why, I won’t actually be in Alaska for Solstice this year, for the first time in a long time and I can’t imagine not celebrating it. I’m just going to have to do something from afar. Get ready South Carolina!
During the entire month of June, Alaska is alive with celebrations for the sun! Farmer’s markets begin to open with actual vegetables to buy. Each town, whether it’s your urban variety of Anchorage or the small, blink-size town of Moose Pass, has its own way to offer the public ways to party with the sun, and this typically involves a variety of festivals, concerts, and races. The interior gem of a town Fairbanks also offers a boat race as well as its very popular midnight sun baseball game. The larger cities offer outdoor solstice concerts while the smaller towns give you down home music festivals, equipped with local goods to buy. If you play your cards right, you can hit the larger events, and then make your way south to tour the smaller versions. And of course, you can mix in some fishing to help the celebration as well.
Like Halloween and the power of costumes, the sun can cleanse any human. You notice the extra smiling. The glow on everyone’s cheeks. More patience is in the air. Bikes are everywhere. You see pdas all around. People are more naked as well and while I like to call my legs glow sticks, because of their blinding abilities on others, I too don less attire during this time of year. In the end, the human spirits come alive in elevated levels and we create a glorious energy together. People say things happen because “it’s in the air” and I’d have to say I truly believe this during Solstice. You can just feel it.
But before I get too hippie on you, just make note of it; you will just have to come up here to see it for yourself. If you are ever traveling to Alaska in the summer, don’t miss Solstice.
Happy Solstice month everyone! Thanks for stopping by.