Taking full advantage of the summer solstice, a couple holds hands while watching the sun rise in Tynemouth, a coastal city in northeastern England. Click through the gallery to see more photos of how the longest day of the year sparks romance:
Owen Humphreys/PA Images/Getty Images
The summer of love —
In Belarus, people traditionally take the opportunity to celebrate the sun on Ivan Kupala Day by bathing in lakes and letting their free spirits and romantic impulses take over.
VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images
An archdruid performs a ritual near the cordoned off Stonehenge near Salisbury, England, during summer solstice 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has prevented druids, pagans and partygoers from watching the sun rise at Stonehenge in person for the past two years.
Sexy Swedes —
During the Swedish national holiday of Midsommar, the usually cool, calm and collected Swedes turn to their raucous Viking roots and consume a copious amount of vodka and dance around -- according to some -- a rather phallic-looking Maypole. Perhaps unsurprisingly, research shows a lot of babies are born nine months after the festivities.
Romantic flames of Greece —
During the Greek solstice celebration Klidonas, bachelors across the country try to impress single ladies by building tall fires and jumping over them. According to custom, anyone who jumps the flames three times is rewarded with a good year ahead but more importantly a likely date for the evening.
Cupid in Ukraine —
In Eastern Europe, Ivan Kupala Day has romantic connotations for many Slavs as "kupala" is derived from the same word as "cupid." In Ukraine, it is common for girls to put wreathes on a river to attract eligible bachelors.
OLEXANDER ZOBIN/AFP/Getty Images
Offerings of love —
In neighboring Belarus, girls place candle offerings into rivers as they celebrate Ivan Kupala Day. The pagan tradition has been accepted into the Orthodox Christian calendar.
In Latvia, women wear flower crowns and dress in traditional costumes singing folk songs.
Janis/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images
Pagan passion at Stonehenge —
Traditionally, one of the largest solstice celebrations in the world takes place at Stonehenge. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no in-person gathering. You can enjoy sunset and sunrise there via livestream.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Love on the rocks —
Pagans and neo-druids treat the solstice like the ultimate marriage ceremony. Over the years, many couples have gone to Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain to confirm their love on the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.