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summer celebrations

body | mind

June 2014

Written by
Lauren Hunsberger


Wellness photo









As the days grow longer, the reasons to celebrate the season also increase. Seattle is known for its own unique celebration of the solstice (just Google The Solstice Cyclists), but here are some facts about how other regions revel in it.

What is the summer solstice?*

Summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere occurs on June 20, 21 or 22, when the sun reaches its most northerly point, directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer (23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude). The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and marks the beginning of summer. 

Solstice loosely translated in Latin is “sun stands still.” For several days before and after each solstice, the sun appears to stand still in the sky, i.e., its noontime elevation does not seem to change from day to day. 

—*according to


How is it celebrated?*

The summer solstice was especially important for the ancient Egyptians since it signaled the annual flooding of the Nile River. To keep track of the day, the pyramids were built so that the solstice sunset fell exactly between two of them when viewed from the Great Sphinx.

Perhaps the most remarkable solstice landmark in the United States is the Medicine Wheel, located in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. Built several hundred years ago by an unknown Plains tribe, the arrangement of stones is perfectly in line with the solstice’s sunrise and sunset each year. 

In northern European countries such as Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway, the summer solstice (or midsummer, as it’s often called) is referred to as the day that never ends. It’s celebrated with bonfires, outdoor festivals, singing, dancing and food.

—according to

Men’s Health Month!

Recommended screening guidelines.

Blood Pressure  Age 20+, should be checked at every doctor’s visit or every two years.
Cholesterol  Age 20+, screen every five years if no history of risk factors. After age 45, screen annually.
Colonoscopy  At 50, screen every 10 years.
Glucose/Blood Sugar Age 45+, every three years unless overweight or have family risk.
Osteoporosis  Annually beginning at 70 unless risk factors exist.
Prostate At 50, men should talk to a doctor about pros and cons of testing so they can decide if testing is the right choice.

-Overlake Medical Center

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