Celebrating Summer Solstice

June 23rd, 2013 - filed under: Furthermore » Inspiration


The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, the one day where the world – or least this half of it – gets the very most minutes of sunlight. I worship the sun, so needless to say, it’s one of my favorite holidays.

It’s an especially wonderful holiday here in Santa Barbara, where our entire city celebrates (on the closest Saturday) with a huge parade and a massive party that spans multiple parks across multiple blocks. Santa Barbara is an odd place, ’cause despite all the wealth and luxury and bling bling bling, the city’s real roots are pure 100% American-made hippie. SB was a hotbed of activism back in the 60s, and even before that the city was host to some of the most formative figures of the beatnik generation. All that’s to say, Santa Barbara totally has a secret freak flag. And on Solstice, oh how that flag does fly!

I grew up going to this parade. And I was so, so excited to be able to share the experience with Waits.


Giant chalk art in the middle of our main street downtown. We watched the festivities from the balcony of Damian’s office, which just so happens to be right above the parade route (score!)



After the parade passes, everyone just piles into the street to follow along, becoming part of the procession. The march goes on until we reach the parks, where there’s food and live music and dancing and drum circles and vendors and weirdos and costumes and half naked people and more-than-half-naked people (because that’s what it’s really all about, right hippies?!) and bubbles and silliness and children and love and a general explosion of worship for the lightness and the brightness and the sun!

Waiting in long lines, this guy was a trooper

Vegan Jamaican. Well deserved – and delicious!


We stayed at the park until after 5, and made the long trek home on foot. From there we met back up with Damian, for a BBQ at his house with a bunch of friends. We grilled veggie burgers and tons of FarMar vegetables, but Waits was exhausted and we called it quits around dusk. He fell asleep on the ride home.

The “super moon” that night, this picture doesn’t do it justice. It was HUGE! How perfect.

Blessings to you and yours, I hope you enjoyed the peak of photons and I wish for you a beautiful transition into these darker days. Ebb and flow, ebb and flow . . .


  • http://windycityvegan.wordpress.com/ Monika {windycityvegan}

    We were camping under the moon and stars during this year’s solstice. It was so beautiful! Happy Summer!

  • http://www.sweetandsavoring.com/ Christy Milford

    Thanks so much for sharing your day and these words! I love your pics- makes me kinda jealous that I’m not closer to Santa Barbara…or at least wonder if there was some similar celebration here on the East Coast :)
    You’re right, it *is* a transition into the darker, shorter days. One day at a time and savoring as much sunlight as possible right now!

  • FoodFeud

    Super moon! I love it. I wish there were a celebration like that here!

  • Shango

    Solstice looks alot warmer where you are now. =)
    Good for you!

  • Lynn

    That looks like so much fun!!! And that first picture of you and Waits is just lovely :) I think I would adore Santa Barbara :)

  • http://michellestinykitchen.blogspot.com/ Michelle Thiele

    This is amazing, I’ve never celebrated the Solstice before. Waits looks like he had a great time!

  • gretchen keller

    Thank you for posting this, Say! SB Summer Solstice has been all-time favorite holiday since I was a kid and I was especially missing it this year…. Wonderful to see it through your eyes!

  • vegyogini

    This is so great! Even though I went to UCSB, I was never in town for Summer Solstice because school was always out by then. Thanks for posting the festivities.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Sounds perfect, I’m planning a camping trip for soon. It’s been YEARS since I’ve been and I miss that feeling of sleeping in nature! Glad you had a great solstice, blessings to you my friend!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yes, it’s all about savoring the sunlight now. Gratitude!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Did you get to see the super moon? It was so amazing. ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    EVERYTHING is a lot warmer where I am now. ;-) Except August, August is definitely hotter in P-town. But I’ll stick to double digit temperatures, thankyouverymuch.

    HI SHANGO!!! I owe you an email!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Santa Barbara is a strange and complicated place, but I’ve definitely come to adore it.

    It was a lot of fun – hope your solstice was fun as well!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    You should celebrate next year (or this winter). It’s such a lovely way to mark the passage of time, and connect to the natural rhythms of the planet. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I was thinking about you while I was there! I know it’s your favorite. Can’t wait to go together next year!!!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh bummer you missed it! If you’re ever in the area around that time, you gotta go. It’s a quintessential SB experience!

  • veronika

    …wait. am i blind, or are you missing your lip ring in those photos??

  • veganinbrighton

    What a super fun day! Brighton is also a massive hippy town and we also love a good parade!

  • lysette

    I celebrate Summer Solstice with a long blissful evening walk, feeling the weight of the moon like a hug.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Not blind! I’ve been playing with takin git out. I go back and forth these days . . .

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yay for parades! Hope you had a great solstice!