Throughout history, the year’s longest day of sunlight has been noted and celebrated by many cultures around the world. Summer solstice, which happens each year around June 21, is a time-honored tradition that brings a period of celebration worldwide.
For many, the first day of summer symbolizes the return of cookouts and trips to the lake, but Dakota Mdewakanton people have long observed Bdoke Wi Ipa (summer solstice) with ceremony, and many continue today. The change of the season is observed and celebrated in several ways, such as smudging, prayer, harvesting plants, and more. Being the longest day of sunlight in a year, Summer Solstice also presents the opportunity to be outside and honor Mother Earth as well.