At Ise a major ritual takes place at daybreak on the morning of the summer solstice when hundreds of people enter into the sea to greet the rising sun as it appears between the sacred rocks of Futami Meoto Iwa.
Sânziană is the Romanian name for gentle fairies who play an important part in local folklore. Under the plural form Sânziene, the word designates an annual festival in the fairies' honor. Etymologically, the name stands for sân (common abbreviation of sfânt - "saint", "holy") and zână (a word used for fairies in general). Another likely etymology is that the word comes from the Latin Sancta Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt and moon, also celebrated in Roman Dacia (ancient Romania).
Children dance around a smaller version of the Majstang, or Maypole, during the 2015 Skandia Midsommarfest at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore on Sunday. The pole symbolizes fertility during the traditional Swedish celebration of the summer solstice. (Sy Bean/The Seattle Times)