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Solstice Celebrations to Use Your Miles On

Who doesn't love to travel? With unlimited resources, my wife always claims she would travel the world repeatedly. While I'm not that much of a fanatic, I do love to hop on a plane and take a trip to interesting and sometimes exotic places. Certainly, getting away from the daily grind often provides enough respite to aid in the maintenance of mental sanity. That said, there are several solstice celebrations occurring worldwide this coming week which could prove inflicting for the travel bug. And for those with airline rewards credit cards, it'll make it that much easier to cast-off all responsibility for a few days and get outta Dodge.Here are a few of the most notable celebrations around the world:

St. John and St. John's Eve

To Christians, John the Baptist is a central historical figure in the celebrations of June 24th and 25th. Tradition holds that St. John was born six months prior to Jesus Christ (whose birth is celebrated six months later during the winter solstice in December). If you want to celebrate with fellow believers, feel free to redeem some miles from your United Mileage Plus credit card and hop on a flight to Ireland or France--or virtually any major European country--where there will most likely be a great deal of eating and drinking. Otherwise, you can stay in the states (using your Southwest Airlines credit card, of course) and fly to New Orleans. Once in Louisiana, make sure you stop by St. John's Bayou for the modern-day Voodoo solstice celebrations.

Ivan Kupala Day

If Europe or the bayou doesn't interest you, then perhaps you are more into water purification and fertility? If that has piqued your interest, Russia or Poland is where you should head. As part of the original Pagan rituals involving fertility, Kupala Day was later accepted by Eastern Orthodox Christianity in conjunction with St. John's Day in the west. Known for its ritualistic water purification rites, the holiday may not hold the mass appeal of Christmas and Santa Claus, but if you are getting a deal on the miles, it should be an amazing cultural experience.


Both Neopagans and some Christians celebrate Midsummer. It is probably the most ubiquitous of all the summer solstice celebrations, and you could probably travel just about anywhere in the world and run into a midsummer celebration. Often known for bonfires (originally lit for warding off evil spirits and burning witches), feasting and dancing around the Maypole (Sweden), midsummer is just a good excuse for a summer party. However you like to celebrate, make sure you get out this next week and get your boogie on. For those of us in Seattle, if the sun is out, you can guarantee we'll be partying late in the night till the sun goes down.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Edward Haylan

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Logan Abbott's picture

Logan Abbott is a personal finance and credit card expert with over 5 years of experience writing about each topic. He is a graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business, and also contributes to other online finance publications. He has been quoted in the New York Times, San Diego Union Tribune, TheStreet, and more.

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