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Solstice is from the Latin and is made up from two words given roughly as: sol = sun and stice = stopped. Celtic Druí do not believe that the Sun stops so we use the old Irish word “Tairisem” which means standing still. In summer this Sun Standing happens in the month of June around the 20th, 21st or 22nd when we honour Etain, the White Mare Goddess. This is the highest point of the solar year when the Sun reaches it maximum height in the Sky. The Sun is at its highest at noon and shadows are at their shortest. There are almost 20 hours of daylight and only four hours of darkness if you are in Ireland at this time.

This is not a specifically Gaelic holiday and many Pagan cultures celebrate this time with many festivals known by a range of names – Denmark, Sankt Hans Aften. Wiccan sabbat Litha. Slavonia, St. John’s Night. Alban Heruin. Gaul (old France), Feast of Epona, (white mare goddess). Roman Empire, Vestalia. Catholic countries, feast of St. John the Baptist – this was an attempt to shift the natives away for the true date by setting the 24th of June as bone fire night.

Source: Ireland’s Druidschool
http://www.druidschool.com/site/1030100/page/846679
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