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Day of the Summer Solstice, St.Marie Mission

  Tour start date(s): 21-06-2024
  Duration: 11 hours
  Location: St.Marie Mission
  Price (including tax): 220 CAD

Day of theSummer Solstice

Native Americans – since childhood, we haveread books about these brave, noble, and somewhat mysterious people, played as them, and watched films about them. But what are they really like? How did they live and how do they live today?

June 21 - the Day of the Summer Solstice, the middle of natural summer and the longest day of the year, when the sun reaches its highest position. At the moment of the solstice, the points of sunrise and sunset stop moving. Although summer is just starting to gain momentum from this moment, the sun begins its return to autumn. From this time, the daylight hours will decrease, and by the autumn equinox, the dark time of the day will prevail over daylight.

For millennia, this day has held great significance for our ancient ancestors, who lived in harmony with Mother Earth and followed natural cycles. Today, just as thousands of years ago, the Day of the Summer Solstice is one of the most important holidays for Native Americans. Incidentally, this day was also celebrated by our European ancestors. This day is marked by ancient pagan holidays such as Ivan's Day, Kupala, and Litha.

On the Day of the Summer Solstice, solar energy is enhanced and the potential for magic, rituals, and meditations significantly increases. It is one of the most powerful days of the year, when it is possible to "dream" your happiness, "program" yourself for positivity and joy.

On June 21, 2024, Irina International Tours invites everyone to the Sainte-Marie among the Hurons Mission on Lake Huron to celebrate this holiday with Native Americans and learn more about their way of life, traditions, culture, and customs.

We will visit the heart of Huronia. In the early 17th century, the Huron people formed a union of five tribes and numbered between 20,000 and 30,000 people; they occupied the territory between Lake Huron and Lake Ontario, concentrating between Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. The Hurons engaged in agriculture, hunting, and fishing, and actively participated in intertribal trade. The traditional religion of the Hurons is animism, the belief in spirits (of the sun, moon, sky), and shamanism.

In 1639, Jesuits, who were the first Europeans to come to these places, noted that the tribe had 32 villages, large and small, 700 bark longhouses (literally - long houses - communal houses where the Hurons lived), 4,000 families, 12,000 adults, and possibly a total population of about 20,000 people.

During our tour, you will learn not only about the history of this tribe and other tribes that inhabited Canada, but also see how the Hurons lived in the early 17th century, whether they converted to Christianity or remained pagans. We will visit the cells and refectory of the Jesuits who founded this Mission, and a small but very interesting museum telling about the Native Americans, the indigenous people of these places, and the history of Canada's exploration by Europeans.

On this very important day for them, Native Americans living in Canada traditionally celebrate not only the Day of the Summer Solstice but also National Indigenous Peoples Day. On this day, representatives of various tribes from not only North but also South America come here to showcase their unique dances, play drums, and other traditional musical instruments. Visitors can watch Native American artists make souvenirs and talismans, try traditional Native American food, participate in bracelet weaving and canoe making, and try to make fire as Native Americans did many centuries ago.

The Mission guides, most of whom are representatives of various Native American tribes, will also tell you about lacrosse. This game, in which two teams try to score against their opponent using their feet and an implement resembling a cross between a stick and a racket, has been popular among Canada's indigenous people for over six centuries. Lacrosse's roots surpass even those of soccer, not to mention hockey and basketball, which were invented only two centuries ago. In 1994, lacrosse was declared Canada's "national summer sport," and those interested can play it.

After visiting the Mission, we will embark on a "30,000 Islands" cruise that will leave no one indifferent. The cruise takes place in Georgian Bay, an integral part of Lake Huron. The bay is over 300 km long and 60-80 km wide. Only on very detailed maps will the thousands of tiny islands along the bay's entire coastline be marked. Named "30,000 Islands," they actually number over 40,000. The northern part of the bay is home to the largest island in the world (in freshwater) - Manitoulin Island, which is over 150 km long. The "30,000 Islands" is truly a unique place on earth.

After the cruise, we will continue our acquaintance with the history of Huronia and visit the Church of the Martyrs, the only Catholic shrine in Ontario.

We will end our tour in the small town of Midland, located at the southern tip of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. Founded in 1871, this town is famous for its murals by renowned artist Fred Lenz, small cafes, boutiques, and beautiful views of Georgian Bay.

This day-long trip is equally interesting for adults and children, locals and visitors alike, and we will be happy to celebrate the Day of the Summer Solstice with you.

Tour program:

  • Visit to Sainte-Marie Mission
  • 30,000 Islands cruise
  • Visit to the town of Midland and the Church of the Martyrs

All entrance tickets are included in the price.

The tour takes place on a special date: Only on the Day of the Summer Solstice - JUNE 21, 2024.

Meeting point: Dufferin and Steeles (near Starbucks)


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