Summer solstice is a world-wide celebration of the longest day of the year. Depending on where you are in the world it falls on 20th June and is cause for great merriment to many people. It has inspired countless festivals and holidays, here are just a few examples of how people celebrate around the world.
In the UK thousands of people pilgrimage to Stonehenge to watch the sunrise. There is a secret Solstice Festival in Reykjavik, Iceland. In Greece it is customary to burn the Mayday wreaths that are used to decorate the doors of the houses for the previous two months, in large communal bonfires, accompanied by music, dancing and jumping over the flames.
Solstice in Times Square, New York is a day-long yoga event now in its 13th year, beginning at 7 a.m. the solstice continues until just before sunset and Astrofest in Croatia brings together amateur astronomers and stargazing enthusiasts to the famous astronomical Višnjan Observatory. Not only is it a great time of celebration and coming together it means creating feasts to share with friends and family. Alongside the traditional bonfires bbq’s are a great way to bring people together. Fire up the grill, get the meat on marinade and send out the texts to get people around the bonfire to mark the longest day of the year.
For the kebabs:
- 1kg boneless Lamb shoulder or neck, trimmed of sinew, cut into 2.5cm chunks
- 60ml olive oil
- Zest of ó an orange, finely grated
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
- 2 bay leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- A pinch of sea salt
For the tzatziki:
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
- 2 garlic cloves
- A generous pinch of salt
- 200g granny smith apples, finely grated
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 250g Greek yoghurt
- A pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
A handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Mix all of the kebab ingredients in a bowl, and leave overnight to marinate.
- Crush the fennel seeds, garlic and sea salt together mix with the tzatziki ingredients.
- Skewer the lamb, leaving little gaps between the pieces so the meat cooks more evenly. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.
Share, savour, enjoy!