by Lee Williams
The longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice, will occur this weekend and the two-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is uniquely blessed to have the natural elements to observe it.
This is according to local eco-tour operator, Rastafari Experience Antigua, who sat with Platinum FM last week to discuss activities the company has planned to coincide with this naturally recurring phenomenon.
According to Priest Isaac, while the company does express the culture of Rastafari in general, its activities are centred on preserving the country’s natural monuments that play a huge part in the observation of this year’s Summer Solstice.
“Rastafari Experience Antigua basically is centred around the preservation of Green Castle Hill,” he explained. “Green Castle Hill is a natural monument right here in Antigua specifically and it is definitely being demolished. It is a site [where] you have countless … megalithic rocks. Megalithic rocks are gigantic rocks…
“What makes it stand out more than any other site – any other regular tour site or hike site – is that it is an archeo-astronomy site; meaning that the natural megaliths or volcanic rocks align with the movement of the stars, align with the movement of the sun and the heavens. So, this is why we’re having a Summer Solstice experience.”
On Sunday, June 20, the northern pole will experience its maximum tilt towards the sun, marking the onset of summer when the sun reaches its maximum declination.
This is known as the summer solstice, the estival solstice or midsummer, and Priest Isaac says persons from abroad usually visit to observe events such as these in Antigua, as the site at Green Caste Hill is unique among the global community.
“There are many sites around the world similar to Green Castle Hill, yet not similar. Meaning … there are many megalithic sites where people visit, especially on … key days like the solstices and the equinoxes,” he stated.
“But the thing that makes Antigua’s Green Castle Hill stand out is that it is an all-natural site, meaning it wasn’t built; it wasn’t put together. No one laid the stones in array and there are countless of them up there at Green Castle Hill.”
The activities to make this year’s Summer Solstice kicked off on Tuesday (June 15) with the webinar ‘Green Castle Hill: The Spirit of Antigua’, a free virtual event hosted by Priest Isaac.
It was followed by a cannabis tour lecture, Rastafari Chalice Talk, yesterday (June 17) with a double hike slated for June 18 and 20 to the Green Castle Hill, featuring Antiguan historian Paddy ‘The Griot’ Simon.
Persons in Antigua and Barbuda are therefore invited to experience the unique event which will also be broadcast via Facebook for persons living abroad and for those wishing to join in on the activities from the comfort of their homes.
For live interviews, tune in to Platinum FM 97.9 Mon-Fri, 9am-10am