The Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice.

We have entered the summer solstice, and the astronomical summer has commenced. The sun has reached its farthest point from the equator north and shines vertical over the Tropic of Cancer. The literal meaning of the word sol – stice is turning of the sun, as that orb will apparently retrograde and the days become shorter.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Jun 28, 1887

Image from the Richard the Lionheart page on Rootsweb.

An Old Custom.

A quaint old custom still prevails in the beautiful country on both sides of the Danube, some hundred miles above Vienna, commonly called the Wachnau. At the summer solstice fires are lit on all the more prominent heights of the mountains that give the Wachnau its peculiar charm.

The picturesque towns and villages on both shores are beautifully illuminated and the bridges across the great river are ablaze with a million lights. The most charming sight of all this year was the illumination of the ruins of Castle Durenstein, above Krems, the legendary castle where Richard Coeur de Lion heard Blndel sing outside his prison walls. This festival is now called Jahannisfier, or St. John’s fete, by a devout population, but the old people call it by its real Papan name, Sonnenwendfeuer — Solstice Fires. — London News.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Nov 16, 1899

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