The Spring Solstice is one of two days a year that the sun finds its way directly above the equator. It’s a phenomenon that has elicited wonder in civilizations for ages, it is a day when sunlight perfectly equals darkness, and it is the absolute perfect reason to throw a garden party.
There are several countries around the world that mark the Spring Solstice as their new year including India, Turkey, and many regions in Asia. It is a time to celebrate the new life that the changing of the seasons brings to the natural world around us and a perfect excuse to ring in a renewed sense of self in all of our personal lives. Here are a few quick tips for throwing a perfect Solstice Garden party for all of your family and friends to enjoy.
Food is always the centerpiece of any shindig and what you choose to serve your guests can make or break a memorable event. In the spirit of renewal and spring, choose a menu of fresh food options that complement the season. Every green vegetable under the sun is available in Arizona during the month of March so put together a giant bowl of fresh greens like shaved raw brussels sprouts, finely chopped kale, spicy fresh scallions, and asparagus tips. Add in generous handfuls of chopped walnuts, crumbled blue cheese, and cubed fresh beets with a simple herb vinaigrette and you are sure to have your guest’s mouths watering. Accompany that with some grilled skewers of chicken, beef, and shrimp marinated in garlic, olive oil, lemon, and parsley and finish it all off with little bowls of fresh strawberries (a March seasonal specialty) and vanilla ice cream and your guests will be talking about your kitchen acumen for the rest of the year.
Other than the food, accompanying beverages are the next critical component. Take advantage of the abundance of citrus coming ripe at this time and put together a little grapefruit Bellini bar with assorted brands of Prosecco and fresh-squeezed juices. This bubbly concoction will lift spirits and some “virgin” carafes of juice and sparkling flavored soda will keep the kids involved in the festivities as well.
March 20th is also World Storytelling Day so invite your guests to get up and spin their favorite yarn of the previous year. Impromptu speeches are a great way to get to know your guests more intimately and to mark the occasion with shared memories that everyone can take into the rest of the year. Go the extra mile and rent a little PA system for the occasion. Once the speeches are done, a laptop tuned in to youtube can turn the late-night portion of the event into a karaoke party for those with the courage to let s few notes fly.
Think simple and just let your garden do the decorating. Rent some small cocktail tables with basic white linens and adorn them flowers from your garden or some seasonal choices from your local florist. Hydrangea, Cornflower, and Lily of the Incas are all great choices and should be available at any Arizona florist during this time of the year.
Planning celebrations to mark the passage of the seasons is a great way to take advantage of your outdoor entertaining spaces and an even better excuse to invite your favorite people to enjoy a fun-filled night of good food, laughter, and a little music during what is hands down the best part of the year.