Saturday, June 7, 2014

Carpe Diem #487, Summer Solstice

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

The coming days I will publish our posts earlier than on other days, because I am in the nightshift. I hope you don't mind. Of course the submission-time stays the same ...
It's all about summer this month and today our prompt is summer solstice it's a bit early maybe, but I have decided (after re-thinking) to let this prompt stay on the day I planned it ... and that's today.

The summer solstice (or June solstice) has been associated with many ancient summer traditions and continues to be celebrated in modern society. It is also known as the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere.
The June solstice occurs on June 20, 21 or 22 in the Gregorian calendar, which is currently used in many western countries. In ancient times, the date of the June solstice was an important source to help people manage their calendars and organize when to plant and harvest crops. This time of year was also a traditional month for weddings. Some societies invested much effort to establish the length of the year.

Credits: Druids gathering at Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice
Jane gives the following example(s) inspired on summer solstice:

black pine
against the never dark sky
Mid-summer's Eve

day and night balanced
no wind

© Jane Reichhold

Here is my response on Summer Solstice, it's an oldie from June 2012 and it was one of the first post on Chèvrefeuille's Haiku my Wordpress-weblog ...

the longest day
spirits are rejoicing nature
Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice
spiritual energy stronger than ever
the longest day
© Chèvrefeuille

In Shinto Religion there is a great Summer Solstice Festival in which the shinto-believers rising early at morning as it is still dark to go to the sacred wedded rocks. There the shrine priest of Futami Okitama Shrine salutates the rising sun. After that salutation the shinto worshippers are taking a dive in the cold water of the ocean reciting prayers and after that they go in a long row back to the shrine feeling reborn and purified.

Credits: the sun salutation by the priest of the shrine at the summer solstice a Shinto festival.
The following haiku I wrote in response on the above information and photo, just an impromptu-verse as I call it, composed at the same moment as I am writing this post.

between the wedded rocks (*)
the sun rises to her highest throne
summer solstice

© Chèvrefeuille

(*) Meoto Iwa, or the Loved one-and-loved one Rocks, are a couple of small rocky stacks in the sea off Futami, Mie, Japan. They are joined by a shimenawa (a heavy rope of rice straw) and are considered sacred by worshippers at the neighbouring Futami Okitama. According to Shinto, the rocks represent the union of the creator of kami, Izanagi and Izanami. The rocks, therefore, celebrate the union in marriage of man and woman. The rope, which weighs over a ton, must be replaced several times a year in a special ceremony. The larger rock, said to be male, has a small torii at its peak.
The best time to see the rocks is at dawn during the summer, when the sun appears to rise between them. Mount Fuji is visible in the distance. At low tide, the rocks are not separated by water.

Basho also wrote several haiku about the summer solstice and I wrote a haiku, about the summer solstice, inspired on a haiku by Basho.

departing spring
along with the people of Omi (**)
missing it

© Basho (1644-1694)

(**) Omi is an old Japanese Province in which is Lake Biwa situated. Basho is at the festivities for the summer solstice in Omi

at the seashore
wind of summer through my hair
the shortest night

© Chèvrefeuille

Credits: Summer Solstice at the seashore

It's such a wonderful festival the Summer Solstice I can go on with this prompt, but than this post will become much to long and that wasn't the plan ...

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 10th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, our second CD Special featuring music for your inspiration composed by BrunuhVille, later on today. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.


  1. Jane is quite raunchy! I thought your haiku with the Japanese culture was great - others soft, and personal, real, nice. Write-up with passion there! Basho's haiku was without pretense.

  2. I remember seeing the Wedded Rocks somewhere else. I think it may have been a show about history. I think it is quite amazing how strong the rice rope must be. I didn't know or had not remembered that when the tide was low there wasn't any separation. I enjoyed the information of this post.

  3. Hello Kristjaan -- no need to apologize for long posts here - love the information! *Plus* your haiku here are *beautiful*. All the best to you --