Solstice dates for your diary
The United Kingdom has a long and interesting history, stretching back centuries. Every year across the UK a number of celebrations are held to mark the changing of the seasons and celebrate our rich heritage.
We’ve put together a calendar of the most important seasonal dates in the year so you can celebrate each and every one.
Imbolc – February 2nd
This date marks the start of new life and growth in the UK and is considered to be the unofficial start of spring. Also known as Candlemas, Imbolc is traditionally celebrated by lighting candles and decorating your home with snowdrops.
Beltane – April 30th
Beltane is the day when spring gives way to summer and the longer light days are celebrated. The Beltane Fire Festival is a celebration of the light and energy that comes in the summer and is said to reinvigorate the earth.
Summer solstice – June 21st
The summer solstice is considered one of the most important seasonal events in the UK calendar. It marks the start of summer and occurs on the longest day of the year. For centuries, this day has been marked with festivities welcoming the summer harvest and is usually accompanied by a celebration around the date called ‘Midsummer’.
Lammas – August 1st
Lammas is the first harvest festival of the year and celebrates the first wheat harvest in particular. In days gone by, the wheat fields were a vital part of life in Britain and many businesses and homes relied on the crops they produced. In one tradition from Anglo-Saxon times, bread was broken into four pieces and place at the corners of the fields in order to ensure a good harvest.
Autumn Equinox – September 21st
There are two equinoxes each year in the UK; spring and autumn. An equinox occurs when the Earth’s axis is positioned so that the night and day are the same length. In fact, the name ‘equinox’ comes from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night).
Samhain – October 31st
Pronounced ‘Sa-ween’, this celebration is more commonly known as Halloween throughout the world and is a festival to honour the passing of life and the oncoming winter. A number of different faiths celebrate Samhain in their own way but the most popular is often simply dressing up and going trick-or-treating!