Harvard museums welcome summer solstice

Crowds will flock to the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture Monday night to usher in the summer solstice.

The fourth-annual Summer Solstice Celebration will begin at 5 p.m. along Divinity Avenue in Cambridge near the Harvard Yard. The solstice marks the beginning of summer, and is the longest day of the year.

Attendees will be able to make crafts, listen to live music, and dance. Entry to the Harvard Semitic Museum, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and Harvard Museum of Natural History will be free during the festival.


“This is our biggest annual event,” said Diana Munn, director of public programs at the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture. “It’s a fun way to get people to come the museum at an odd hour.”

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Among the more popular attractions is an area where visitors can build flower crowns from daisies and greens. Festivalgoers will also be able to decorate Egyptian collar necklaces at the Harvard Semitic Museum, she said.

Drummers from Mali will play at sunset, Munn said.

“We like to have a count down so that we mark the moment when the sun sets and it’s the end of the solstice,” she said. “Before that happens we like to have a drumming group and it has become a tradition.”

Munn said more than 2,000 people came to the solstice celebration last year. This year the museums are hoping to see similar crowds, she said.

Mina Corpuz can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @mlcorpuz.