A Special Summer Solstice
With Summer Solstice around the corner, here is a round up of the most EPIC sacred places to celebrate the longest day of the year around the world at sunrise. Some rituals will be celebrated on-line this year as it is unlikely we will be able to attend in person. We might not be able to travel to these places but we can dream about next year.
1) Stonehenge. Wilshire. England. For millennia pagan worshippers, Druids, wizards, and lovies have turned up at this enormous cluster of stones to pay homage to the longest day of the year. At its apex, the sun shines through the Heel stone channelling the sun to the centre of the monument.
2) Land of the Rising Sun. Japan. Ibaraki Prefecture. Japan’s Oarai Coast is home to the white-stone Shinto shrine archway which stands on a boulder on the sea. Many come here for the first sunrise of the year when the chief priest of the shrine holds a solemn ceremony in honour of this special event.
3) Angkor Wat. Cambodia. Sunrise behind the famous temple in the Angkor Thom complex is timeless and tranquil and attendance is almost mandatory for visitors to Siem Reap.
4) Mount Sinai. Egypt. Considered by many to be a holy mountain, pilgrims and others climb the trail from St. Catharine’s Monastery during the inky night to arrive at the summit for dawn.
© Getty images
5) Cappadocia. Turkey. The landscape has, over many centuries, been eroded into a mix of caves and towers that are best appreciated at sunrise. Ideally from a hot-air balloon! The vista of colourful balloons floating in the sky at dawn is breath-taking.
6) Tres Cruces. Machu Picchu. Peru. The Incas considered this mountain location, situated on the Amazon Basin, to be sacred and it is certainly worth the 6 hour bus ride from Cuzco to experience sunrise here. It is in the southern hemisphere but not far enough from the equator to make a difference.