20 Jun

Summer Solstice

Things are heat­ing up as we pre­pare to cel­e­brate the 2015 Sum­mer Sol­stice!


This year, the sum­mer sol­stice falls on June 21st. In the North­ern Hemi­sphere, the sum­mer sol­stice begins at 6:51 a.m. EDT, offi­cial­ly ring­ing in sum­mer. The date brings the year’s longest stretch of day­light. Though the hours of sun­light depend on loca­tion, many areas will see 16 hours’ worth of light!


For sci­ence afi­ciona­dos, the sum­mer sol­stice occurs pre­cise­ly when the Earth’s axi­al tilt is most inclined toward the sun, at the degree of 23° 26′, it’s most extreme. In June, the tilt is toward the sun in the North­ern Hemi­sphere, while the sec­ond year­ly sol­stice, the win­ter sol­stice, in Decem­ber, the tilt is away from the sun in the South­ern Hemi­sphere.


The sol­stice marks the first day of sum­mer, and that means flip-flops, beach trips and bar­be­cues. In south­ern Eng­land, thou­sands flock to Stone­henge to see the sun rise from the van­tage point of the 4,000-year-old solar mon­u­ment.


The sum­mer sol­stice is also a time of cel­e­bra­tion for Chris­tians and Pagans. In Chris­tian­i­ty, the first day of sum­mer marks the fes­ti­val of St. John the Bap­tist, and in Pagan­ism fol­low­ers cel­e­brate what they call “mid­sum­mer” with bon­fires and feasts.


Hap­py Sol­stice to all, and to all a good day!

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1 Comment

  • why peo­ple dnt und­stand sum­mer

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