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Summer Is Officially Here!

Thursday, June 20th, 2024, marks the official start of the summer, also known as Summer Solstice. The word solstice is a Latin word, “sol” meaning sun, and “stitium” meaning still. It’s the longest day and shortest night of the year because it has the longest period of sunlight hours in the northern hemisphere. The earth is at its point in orbit where the north pole is at its maximum tilt towards the sun.

With northern Europe celebrations like Midsummer, they sit at bonfires and eat great food and take part in traditional singing and create floral wreaths. During the Summer Solstice, people celebrate through many different festivals, rituals, and spiritual traditions, as the solstice is seen as a time of spiritual awakenings and peak solar energy. In Chicago, the start of the summer signifies nights at The Point and days at the beach. The city hosts different festivals with live music, like Lollapalooza and Pitchfork Music Festival that invite Chicagoans to mingle and enjoy warm weather and longer daylight hours.

Here are some of the most common ways people in Chicago celebrate the beginning of one of the best times in the city – Summertime Chi:

  • Beach Days: Many people in Chicago hit up beaches to soak up the sun with a book or music, have picnics with friends or family, get in the water, or just bask in the beauty of the lake and skyline during the summer.
  • Farmer’s Markets and Gardens: Summer Solstice is a time of abundance, many Chicagoans tend to their plants and if they have the means for it – their gardens both literally and figuratively. Visiting our local farmers markets for fresh produce is also common during the summer season.
  • Thrifting and Vintage Shopping: Grab yourself an overpriced drink and explore Chicago’s beloved areas like Pilsen, Wicker Park, Downtown, and West Loop for some vintage shopping and thrifting. I don’t know about you, but summer to me means exactly this.
  • Biking and Hiking: Chicago has many trails and paths inside and outside of the city that are best for biking and hiking, allowing its residents to explore nature and the city’s greenery. A Chicago favorite is the Dan Ryan Woods, with plenty to see, space to picnic, and hiking trails.

Partaking in outdoor activities is a reflection of Chicago’s love for summer and the community the season fosters. From this day forward, make the most of the heat, and welcome summer, because she’s here to stay until September!

 

By Journey Powell, Freshman, Spelman College

Instagram: journeyaliah

 

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Written by Journey

Hiii, I’m Journey. I love to model and write poetry. My favorite movie series is Harry Potter.

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