Thousands of sun worshipers across the world Wednesday will celebrate the summer solstice with centuries-old rituals that include burning effigies and leaping over bonfires, as well as newer traditions like practicing yoga.
The event marks the official start of summer and the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a joyous occasion and considered a major holiday in some countries, including Russia and Ukraine.
“It’s a fun holiday,” said Natalie Kononenko, a professor and Kule Chair in Ukrainian Ethnography Arts at the University of Alberta in Canada. “You go swimming. People get drunk. You overeat. It’s a joyful time.”
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