Summer Solstice

Next Wednesday, 21 June 2023

In 2023, Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will occur on Wednesday, June 21 around 10:58 A.M. EDT

It generally occurs between June 20 and June 22. Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year that marks the arrival of the Summer season. 

The solstice happens when the Earth arrives at the point where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt in relation to the sun. This is why days are longer during the Summer Solstice.

Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere, on the other hand, occurs around December 21 or 22. 

Summer Solstice At Utah Desert

What is Summer Solstice

The word 'solstice' is derived from 'sol' which is Latin for the sun and 'stitium' which means stop or still. People in the ancient age put sol-to-stilt which translates to sun standing still and coined it 'solstitium'. 

It was originally called the solstitium but people who spoke Middle English abbreviated it to 'solstice' in the 14th century. 

The reason for naming it that is because, during the June Solstice, it looks like the sun is standing still. It feels like the trajectory is reversed as on this particular day, the sun does not rise in the east like always. 

Instead, it rises north of east and sets in the northwest because it is at its northernmost point in the sky. Hence, the sun is visible in the sky longer than usual making Summer Solstice the longest day of the year. 

The sun seems to return to its usual position after the summer solstice. This is because we know that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the opposite.

During the solstice, the North Pole tilts towards the sun more and that is why the position of the sun appears a bit different. In the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice takes place on December 21 when the sun is at the farthest south. 

The Significance Of Summer Solstice

The Solstice represented new beginnings and change for many people. This day has been celebrated with festivals, rituals, and midsummer celebrations for centuries. 

In ancient times, the June solstice was marked as the day to begin planting and harvesting crops. This is the reason it is connected to fertility and new beginnings. 

Ancient Greek Historian and Geographer Herodotus stated that the flooding of the Nile River happened on the same day as Summer Solstice every year. Thus, it helped determine when the floods would occur. 

The Stonehenge Monument

The proof of this calendar organization system was found in the monument of Stonehenge in England. It is believed that the stone circle at Stonehenge was built as a way to determine the date of the Summer Solstice. 

Summer Solstice At Stonehenge

Thousands of people flock to Stonehenge every year to observe the Summer Solstice and perform ancient pagan celebration rituals even to this day. 

Celebrate Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice has also been associated with feminity for a long time. In ancient cultures, this was a huge deal to commemorate it with bonfires and feasts. 

With the spread of Christianity, these commemorations were incorporated into religion. 

Today, in North America, New Age, and Neo-pagan groups celebrate the June Solstice by organizing different events.

Several music and art festivals focus on those ancient rituals of honoring the Earth and the Sun.

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