The Summer Solstice is a Rathillien holiday. It should not be confused with Midsummer's Day, which is a few days before.


For the Merikit, the Solstice is a fertility rite.[3] It's celebrated with a mummery beside the well at Kithorn.[3] Shamen play the Earth Wife, Falling Man, and Eaten One, and the chief plays the Burnt Man.[4] They sacrifice a got to pacify the River Snake. The Earth Wife's Favorite fights the Challenger to keep his position. The Earth Wife presents her Favorite to the Burnt Man as their son, this being called "fooling death".[5]


In Kothifir, the summer solstice is the run.[6]


  1. To Ride a Rathorn, "Chapter XVIII: Solstice" (Summer 66), I

  2. The Sea of Time, "Chapter III: Summer Solstice" (Summer 66)
  3. 3.0 3.1 To Ride a Rathorn, "Chapter XVIII: Solstice", I — "It seemed that Chingetai meant to enact the entire solstice fertility rite, just as if he hadn't already done so, prematurely, on Summer Eve, and gotten saddled with her, Jame, as the Earth Wife's current Favorite and his presumed heir."
  4. Seeker's Mask, "Part VIII: Kithorn" — " 'Anyway, he'd prefer to play the Burnt Man—who, I gather, is always the chief. Would substituting for his father now give him a claim on the chiefdom afterward?' 'Yes. Which is something else the elders want to avoid. They'll keep the midsummer part of these rites as intact as they can, to please the Earth Wife, to quiet the Snake, and to provide the Burnt Man (that is, the chief) with this year's best choice of an heir.' "
  5. Seeker's Mask, "Part VIII: Kithorn" — " 'Now the Earth Wife is supposed to present her lover, the new Favorite, to her consort, the Burnt Man, as their son. Life out of winter and ashes, d'you see? Spring fertility and frolics. It's called "fooling death." Not too bright, our friend up there. Of course, once in a while he catches on and the Favorite spontaneously combusts."
  6. The Sea of Time, "Chapter III: Summer Solstice", I
Rathillien's equinoxes and solstices
Spring Equinox Summer Solstice Autumn Equinox Winter Solstice