My friend Alia posted this last year. I think it warrants a repost. She gives my blog some much needed class!
Happy Summer Solstice! What? It's not the summer solstice? Well, sure, it passed a couple of days ago on December 22, 2011 ... What do you mean WINTER solstice?!? Ohhhhh ... you must be in the Northern Hemisphere! Well, if you were living in the Andes below the equator, December is actually summer and December 22nd is the longest day of the year (that is, the summer solstice). And just like the Northerners have all kinds of festivals for solstices, so does the South.
In a tradition reaching back to the pre-Hispanic Incans, there is a festival called "Capac Raymi" (which is Quechua for "Magnificent Festival") on this solstice that marks the beginning of the New Year. It's an especially important event for young men and is sometimes called "Fiesta de Fortalecimiento" in Spanish (Strengthening Festival) because it's all about young men testing their spiritual strength and potential.
What's your favorite southern hemisphere celebration?