We Dollies decided to throw a low-key boating excursion to celebrate the 2017 summer solstice a.k.a. Litha a.k.a. Midsummer’s Eve. We live in ‘Beautiful British Columbia’ so for us, that fell on Tuesday, June 20 at 9:24 pm. Low-key, for The Dollies, was a whopping four people and it was perfect. The word “solstice” is from the Latin solstitium from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop) because the sun appears to stand still on the solstice as it reaches it’s highest point in the sky. The summer solstice is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the year.
I had the opportunity to travel to Europe when my girls were little. A friend called me up and asked if I wanted to go with her. Ummm…let me think abo…FUCK YES!!!!!! My husband is not a museum lover, so he happily stayed home which meant more travel money for me. My awesome second mom and dad came and stayed with him to look after the girls while I was gone. We signed up for a Contiki tour and went to London and Paris with day trips to Scotland, Bath and Stonehenge.
Guess what the fuck was in the British Museum??? Bog Bodies!!!
I’m the weird Dolly who is in love with horror and weird shit so I’ve learned a lot about bog bodies since that trip. Unlike most ancient human remains, bog bodies have retained their skin, hair and internal organs due to the unusual conditions of the surrounding area including: highly acidic water, low temperature, and a lack of oxygen. These conditions work together to preserve and severely tan their skin. While the skin is well-preserved, the bones are generally not, due to the acid in the peat dissolving the calcium phosphate of bone. I spent a lot of time inspecting the bog body of the Lindow Man/Lindow Man ll and the oldest mummy ever found: a 5400 year old Egyptian body originally named “Ginger” because of his still visible red hair. “Ginger” is now known as “EA 32751” because of recent ethical policies for human remains. Sensitive bitches unite! So, anyhow, poor “EA 32751” (who would probably prefer to be called “Ginger” because it’s more humanizing than a number) was found naturally preserved in a shallow gravesite with pots and flints surrounding him. One theory about how the bodies ended up in a bog is: “Celts do appear to have performed human sacrifice as part of their religious rituals. And, since the Druids were the religious/scholar/priestly social class, they almost certainly would have participated in human sacrifices, and probably officiated at them.” – Celtic Studies Resources
This made me question what I would like to be buried with. I’m going to choose my most prized possession and be buried with my husband so I can be clutching his mummified penis. Upon further reflection, said penis is going to have to be taxidermied first so that it doesn’t shrivel down into a dried flattened piece of raisin-textured skin. I want to be gripping that shit in all it’s glory if we are ever exhumed for research or to prove that I didn’t poison him.
Plus, how awesome would it have been to live near a bog? Your husband pisses you off? You send him towards the bog to retrieve the flint tool that accidentally fell out of your hand and onto the material floating on the bog. He lovingly goes to retrieve it and WHOOOOOPS….another bog body!
One of the highlights of the trip was going to Stonehenge. It was truly, mind-fuckingly amazing. I can’t even explain the feeling you get when you approach the massive stones. I don’t think anyone could accurately put into words how that feels. It’s massive and the history is fascinating.
Stonehenge is an ancient prehistoric site which has been a place of worship and celebration for the summer solstice for thousands of years. It is considered by many as a sacred site which clearly marks the summer solstice. If you stand at just the right spot inside Stonehenge on the day of the summer solstice, facing northeast through the entrance towards the rough hewn stone outside the circle – known as the Heel Stone- you’ll see the sun rise above the Heel Stone.
The summer solstice celebration at Stonehenge attracts hundreds of druids, pagans, wiccans and spectators who gather to celebrate the Sun God from dawn until dusk. Litha is the pagan name for Midsummer’s Day, or summer solstice, and is traditionally marked with yoga taking place at the break of sunrise and sunset. Other rituals that are followed at Stonehenge on this significant day are: fire rituals; meditating in nature; magic, chants and prayers; dancing and music; and setting up Litha altars around the bonfire.
The Dollies decided to celebrate the summer solstice in style! We chose to worship the sun god while on the water. We had our cocktails and dessert made before starting our homemade pizzas with a delicious homemade marinara sauce. Check out our Top 10 Plants for the Modern Mixolologist’s Garden which we picked fresh for our recipes.
We loaded up the flat-deck party boat with our food, drinks and dessert and headed out to the middle of the lake to take in the solstice at 9:24 p.m. It was relaxing, fun and even inspired a little karaoke (I haven’t sang in front of anyone other than my husband and children.) Thankfully, it was dark by that time because voices carry a long fucking way over water. We’ll just blame it on the power of the summer solstice.
Summer Solstice Menu
- Homemade Pizza
- Roasted Marinara Sauce
- Strawberry Margarita, Part II
- Strawberry Shortcake with Amaretto Whipped Cream
We created summer solstice headbands and also made the beautiful Dolly her own little Tu-Tu.