The first day of Summer has deep historical and cultural importance as people celebrate the longest day of the year. From the new-age festivities surrounding England’s Stonehenge to the Midsummer’s Eve celebrations in Scandinavia, people still gather each year to mark the summer solstice, which officially occurred today, Saturday, June 21 4:51 a.m (MST). Summer solstice campfire celebrations are popular in cooler northern countries like Iceland, Poland, Latvia, Denmark, Sweden and Russia. While in Canada, Aboriginal Day coincides with the summer solstice. It was selected in 1996 after the Assembly of First Nations called for a day to unite and celebrate native cultures. The date had meaning because aboriginal societies traditionally marked the summer solstice one way or another. While some may not think of the solstice as a cause for celebration, it is a day of deep historical and cultural significance. Solstice celebrations were a highlight of the pre-Christian calendar, and bonfires, maypole dances and courtship rituals linger on in many countries as holdovers from Europe’s pagan past.