Traditional Celebrations

Traditional Celebrations

Modern practitioners in Greece celebrate the spring equinox, connecting to an ancient heritage. Photo © Labrys.gr (used with permission)

Traditional solstice and equinox celebrations are regularly held around the world by groups of people who are working to reinvigorate the spiritual beliefs and practices of their native and ethnic traditions, which descended from the ancient Religion of the Sun.

On this page we have curated a list of all the solstice and equinox events run by traditional revival groups that we currently know about. This list is a work in progress. If you know of any upcoming traditional celebrations that we have not yet included, please let us know through our contact page.

Traditional Celebrations in Central and South America

Peru

Winter Solstice

Inti Raymi

Offerings to the Sun God at Inti Raymi. Photo by Cyntia Motta, by CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thousands of people gather in Peru each Winter Solstice to experience the nine day Inti Raymi festival (Festival of the Sun) which honors the Sun God. Celebrations include traditional music, dance and reenactments of ancient ceremonies worshiping the sun.

More information about the Inti Raymi celebration in Peru is available here.

Traditional Celebrations in Europe

Bulgaria

Summer Solstice

The Thracian Society Threskeia

Photo © Threskeia (used with permission)

The Thracian Society Threskeia holds a summer solstice celebration at a rock sanctuary atop a sacred mountain in the Starosel region of Bulgaria. The celebration runs for two days and includes music, singing and other traditional Thracian customs.

More information about Threskeia's summer solstice celebration is available at their website (written in Bulgarian and English) or on our page about their celebration here.

Autumn Equinox

The Thracian Society Threskeia

Autumn Equinox

Photo © Threskeia (used with permission)

At the time of the autumn equinox, Threskeia conduct a ceremony in Belantash, in the Rhodopes mountains. This ceremony symbolizes the descent of God into the underworld, an allegory common to many ancient traditions. It is also a time for celebrating the last harvest of the summer and to pray for good fortune in the coming winter months.

More information about Threskeia's autumn equinox celebration is available on their website and on our page covering their autumn equinox event here.

Spring Equinox

The Thracian Society Threskeia

Threskeia Community on the sacred grounds of Starosel, Bulgaria, during the Spring Equinox. Photo © Threskeia (used with permission)

At Momini Kamani in the Starosel region on the Spring Equinox, Threskeia conducts a ceremony to celebrate its Indo-European spiritual roots. The rock sanctuary at Momini Kamani is thought to be a sacred site where ancient Thracians once worshiped. The celebration consists of age-old customs, music, singing and early Indo-European rites. The ceremony is conducted in Bulgarian.

More information about Threskeia's autumn equinox celebration is available on their website or on our page talking about their event here.

Czechia

Spring Equinox

Slovansky Kruh

Photo © Slovansky Kruh (used with permission)

At the spring equinox at Litomerice in Czechia, Slovanksy Kruh (the "Slavic Circle") meets to celebrate the equinox with a revival of ancient Slavic traditions known as "Provoda".

The celebration includes the creation of ceremonial spaces and altars, a large bonfire, thanksgiving to the gods, song, food and discussion.

For more information about the spring equinox event run by Slovansky Kruh, please visit their website (Czech or English language versions) or view our write up of their event here.

Greece

Winter Solstice

Labrys

A photo from a ceremony conducted by the revival group Labrys. Photo © Labrys.gr (used with permission)

Around the 22nd of December each year, the Greek revival group Labrys conducts a ceremony to celebrate the winter solstice. In this ceremony Labrys celebrate their connection to the universe and its natural principles.

For more information including the exact time and date of their celebration please visit Labrys' website (written in Greek).

Spring Equinox

Delphys

Delphys celebrating the spring equinox with a ceremony at ancient ruins. Photo © Delphys (used with permission).

Delphys (or "Delphi) is the ceremonial arm of the the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes (YSEE). At the spring equinox, Delphys holds an annual celebration which aims to revive ancient Greek history and traditions through music, song and by performing spiritual rites.

The spring equinox ceremony by Delphys offers homage to the gods and deities of ancient Greece. It is conducted in Greek and Ancient Greek.

More information about this event is available at Delphys' website (in Greek with an English translation available) or on our page about their event here.


Labrys

At the time of the spring equinox, at the Temple of Zeus in ancient Nemea, the revival group Labrys perform a ceremony that gives homage to the deities of ancient Greece and their relationship to the equinox. The ceremony is conducted in both Greek and Ancient Greek.

For more information including the exact time and date of their celebration please visit Labrys' website (written in Greek), or view our write up of their event here.

Summer Solstice

Labrys

Around the 21st of June, Labrys celebrates the longest day of the year with a summer solstice ceremony in honor of the gods Apollo and Helios.

For more information including the exact time and date of their celebration please visit Labrys' website (written in Greek).


Prometheus Pyrphoros

Photo © Prometheus Pyrphoros (used with permission)

At the summer solstice in Salonica, the revival group Prometheus Pyrphoros — which can be translated as "Prometheus who carries the fire" — conducts a ceremony aiming to revive ancient Greek traditions. The ceremony is conducted in ancient Greek and includes Orphic hymns and Greek symbols. Participants wear traditional garments.

For more information on Prometheus Pyrphoros' activities, please visit their website (written in Greek), or our article about their summer solstice event here.


YSEE

YSEE Spring Equinox Celebration in Greece. Photo © YSEE (used with permission)

The revival group YSEE also runs a summer solstice celebration in Greece. YSEE — the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes — in conjunction with the "Force of the Dodoni People" holds this event in Epirus at the sacred site “Perrhaebian Dodoni”. This site is at the foot of Mount Titaros and by the sacred river Ladonas. The celebrations will include traditional songs, hymns and customs.

For more information about this event please visit YSEE's website (written in Greek with an English translation available), or our write up on their event here.

Autumn Equinox

Labrys

Around the 21st of September each year, Labrys performs a ceremony to celebrate the autumnal equinox, at a time when just as at the spring equinox the length of day and night are equal.

For more information including the exact time and date of their celebration please visit Labrys' website (written in Greek).

Latvia

Summer Solstice

Maras Loks

Photo © Maras Loks (used with permission)

At Janis Hill in Latvia on the summer solstice, the revival group Maras Loks, in conjunction with Turaid Museum Reserve and Sigulda County, holds a Jāņi (Summer Solstice Celebration) consisting of traditional Baltic customs.

For more information about Maras Loks and their events, please visit their website (written in Latvian with an English translation available), or visit our summary of their summer solstice event.

Spring Equinox

Maras Loks

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Photo © Maras Loks (used with permission)

At the spring equinox in Carnikava, the revival group Maras Loks meets to celebrate and revive the old ways and customs of the Baltic people, in order to preserve the ancient Latvian religion and to transfer its knowledge to future generations.

Maras Loks celebrates the spring equinox with traditional songs and hymns conducted around a bonfire. The ceremony takes place in Latvian.

For more information about Maras Loks and their events, please visit their website (written in Latvian with an English translation available), or visit our summary of their spring equinox event.

Lithuania

Summer Solstice

Romuva

Romuva Ceremony

A priestess makes offerings to the fire during a ceremony held by the Romuva, who celebrate the ancient traditional spirituality of Lithuania. Photo © Romuva (used with permission)

At the summer solstice the Romuva Movement celebrates in two locations: the first in Vilnius and the second approximately 40kms from Vilnius. The Romuvas consider themselves to be part of the "movement of rebirth of ancient spiritualities in Europe". Their celebrations consist of mantras and songs, dancing, ceremonial practices around a large bonfire and ancient prayers. You may wear traditional Baltic clothing if you wish, but it is not a requirement to participate.

For more information about the Romuva summer solstice celebration please visit their website (written in Lithuanian), or view our article about their celebration here.

Spring Equinox

Romuva

Romuva Spring Equinox Celebration by Mantas Masalskis. Photo © Romuva (used with permission)

At Castle Hill in Vilnius, Romuva gathers at the spring equinox to celebrate with ancient rituals, chants, folks songs, hymns and many other traditional customs. The ceremony is conducted in Lithuanian.

For more information about the Romuva spring equinox celebration please visit their website (written in Lithuanian), or view our article about their celebration here, which includes a video from their 2013 activities.

Slovakia

Summer Solstice

Rodný Kruh

Photo © Rodný Kruh (used with permission)

At the Summer Solstice, the revival group Rodný Kruh — which can be translated as "Native Circle" — runs a three day celebration in Sekcia which includes solstice rituals, music, singing, dancing, and many other activities. There is a dress code for participating in these activities, which includes natural clothing in a traditional style.

For more information about Rodný Kruh and their events, please visit their website (written in Slovak). Alternatively, you could also visit our event write up for the Rodný Kruh Summer Solstice celebration here.


Staroslovanská Vatra

Staroslovanská Vatra Dance

Staroslovanská Vatra dance. Photo © Staroslovanská Vatra (used with permission)

Another summer solstice celebration takes place closer to the village of Turcianska Stiavnicka, run by Staroslovanská Vatra (which translates to "Old Slavic Fire"). On the day of the solstice, hundreds of people gather in Turcianska Stiavnicka to take part in ancient Slavic traditions. A highlight of the event is the setting of the sun, which appears to roll down the side of a mountain before setting between two mountain peaks.

For more information about the Staroslovanská Vatra summer solstice event, please visit their facebook page (written in Slovak), or visit our write up on their event here, which includes a video of the event from 2013.

Traditional Celebrations in North America

United States of America

Summer Solstice

Friends of Chaco

solstice event at chaco canyon

Traditional Pueblo Eagle Dance.
Public domain image found here.

Chaco Canyon is believed to have once been an incredible ancient gathering center and complex. Today it is the site of a summer solstice celebration, organized by the Friends of Chaco. Visitors can observe the sunrise at the great Casa Rinconada structure. On the day of the summer solstice a traditional Pueblo Eagle Dance is also performed by Kitzit Dancers from Laguna Pueblo.

For more information about visiting Chaco Canyon for the summer solstice, please visit the Friends of Chaco website, or learn more about their event here.

Traditional Celebrations in Russia

Russia

Summer Solstice

Yarga

Photo © Yarga (used with permission)

At the summer solstice, Yarga, holds a Slavic celebration called Kupala. Kupala is a summer solstice celebration that lasts for several days and includes ceremonies and summer festivities.

More information about this event can be obtained by visiting the Yarga websites here or here, or their Facebook page here (both websites and the Facebook page are written in Russian). Alternatively, view our article about the Yarga Kupala celebration here.

Traditional Celebrations in the United Kingdom

England

Spring Equinox

The Druid Order

The Druid Order celebrating the Spring Equinox. Photo © TheDruidOrder.org (used with permission)

At the spring equinox the Druid Order of the UK conducts their Alban Eilir (meaning "Light of the Earth") ceremony in public at Primrose Hill in London. The Druid Order also runs a summer solstice ceremony at Stonehenge (more information on this below).

To learn more about participating in the Druid Order's Alban Eilir ceremony, please visit their website, or our article on their spring equinox event here.

Summer Solstice

The Druid Order

The Druid Order celebrating the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. Photo © TheDruidOrder.org (used with permission)

The Druid Order of the UK also perform three rituals to celebrate the summer solstice at Stonehenge each year. These rituals are in addition to a much larger observance of the sunrise at Stonehenge. While the equinox ceremonies run by the Druid Order are open to the public, participation in their summer solstice ceremony is only open to members.

Access to Stonehenge is free of charge on the solstice, where tens of thousands of people join together to celebrate its spectacular solar alignments. There are also a number of unofficial prayers and ceremonies conducted during the celebration by various groups.

More information about the summer solstice observance at Stonehenge, and the rituals performed by the Druid Order can be found in our article here or at the website of the Druid Order of the UK.

Autumn Equinox

The Druid Order

The Druid Order also runs a public ceremony for the Autumn Equinox at Primrose Hill in London. For more information about this celebration, please visit their website.

Traditional Celebrations in Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand

We do not currently know of any traditional celebrations happening in these regions. There are however, a number of sacred sites which anyone can visit on their own, or with friends and family to observe a solar alignments at the solstice or equinox. There are also many ideas on how to celebrate the solstices and equinoxes on this page.

Observances at Sacred Sites

In regions where there are no revival group celebrations listed, another way to celebrate is to observe the solstices and equinoxes at ancient sacred sites.

Sites where observances are held can be found here:

Solstice & Equinox Observances at Sacred Sites

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