Midsummer festivities with their solstice fires were Christianized in the 12th century by association with the feast day of Saint John the Baptist on 24 June. "Saint John's fires", celebrated on the eve of his feast day, are a well-established tradition in central and southern Germany, Tyrol and Austria.
The solstice can be observed from the vantage point of space offered by the weather satellite MSG (Meteosat Second Generation). Every 15 minutes this satellite provides an image of Earth’s disk from its geostationary orbit. Since it was designed for weather monitoring the satellite does not have a blue channel, so one has been artificially generated to produce the simulated true-color image shown here.
© Eumetsat / image processing: EOC/DFD