By Mary Willoughby
The Fire Festival, the longest day of the year, another ancient tradition stretching back to neolithic times, and is shared by cultures all over the world. Fertility rituals and bonfires abound across the globe on this sacred day.
Celebrations occur between June 21st and 25th depending on the culture. In some places it is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year next to the Winter Solstice/Yule, which occurs in the southern hemisphere as the northern has summer solstice, and vice verse.
Also called Litha, a word that can be traced to the Anglo-Saxon name for the month of June. A Sabbath in the wheel of the year, one of the many celebrated by today’s growing Wicca community. Golden flowered midsummer plants like Calendula and St. Johns Wart were celebrated for their healing powers and are picked on this night. Many people gather yearly at Stonehenge for this occasion.