LONGEST DAY TODAY MIDSUMMERS DAY TOMORROW
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG Friday 21st June 2019
The good news is that today is the Longest Day. The bad news is after a couple of weeks the nights will begin to draw in. Happy Longest Day! Make the most of your maximum daylight hours whilst they are here.
THE LONGEST DAY
Friday 21 June is the longest day. There will be 16 hours and 56 minutes of daylight – and the sun will rise at 4.38am before setting at 21.34pm in Nottingham. But it will vary wherever you live.
It is also the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere
In 2019, the Summer Solstice which took place on 21 June, at 15:54 GMT/UTC. During the celestial annual journey of the Earth round the Sun, that is the moment when the Sun is at its furthermost point north of the Equator.
The summer solstice is the longest day of the year – the day in which we can enjoy approximately 17 hours of daylight.
It might seem like good news, but for those of us in the northern hemisphere this is the time when the sun’s path stops moving northward in the sky and the days begin to slowly shorten.
Midsummer Day is on Saturday 22nd June 2019 and marks the summer solstice, which is the culmination of summer, as well as a turning point when the days start to get shorter in the northern hemisphere.
During this period the nights are light and short, while in regions that lie to the north of the Arctic Circle, the sun never falls below the horizon for several weeks. In Nuorgam, located at the northernmost point in Finland, the sun never sets between the mid portion of May and the end of July.
When Midsummer Day arrives, for many it marks the beginning of their summer holiday, which typically lasts for four weeks
The Summer solstice or Longest Day officially marks the beginning of astronomical summer, which ends when the autumn equinox falls on September 23. Day and night will be at almost equal length on this day, as the sun crosses the celestial equator and moves southward into the northern hemisphere.
What happens during the summer solstice?
There are two solstices each year – one in the winter and one in the summer. The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of Earth’s axis is most inclined towards the sun and is directly above the Tropic of Cancer.
Traditionally, the summer solstice period fell between the planting and harvesting of crops, leaving people who worked the land time to relax. This is why June became the traditional month for weddings.
It might seem like a day to celebrate, but it actually signals the moment the sun’s path stops moving northward in the sky, and the start of days becoming steadily shorter as the slow march towards winter begins.
However, we won’t notice the days becoming shorter for a while. The shortest day of the year isn’t until Sunday, December 22, known as the winter solstice; it lasts for 7 hours and 50 minutes in Britain, which is 8 hours, 48 minutes shorter than the June solstice.
At the winter solstice, the Earth’s axis is tilted furthest away from the sun directly over the Tropic of Capricorn bringing only a few hours of daylight.
In the southern hemisphere the dates of the two solstices are reversed. The winter solstice occurs on the same day in June and the summer solstice the same day in December.
The term ‘solstice’ derives from the Latin word ‘solstitium’, meaning ‘sun standing still’. Some prefer the more teutonic term ‘sunturn’ to describe the event.
Astrologers say the sun seems to ‘stand still’ at the point on the horizon where it appears to rise and set, before moving off in the reverse direction.
Summer solstice traditions: why is Stonehenge so significant?
Stonehenge in Avebury, Wiltshire is the most popular place for Pagans to celebrate the longest day because it famously aligns to the solstices. The rising sun only reaches the middle of the stones one day of the year when it shines on the central altar.
Built in three phases between 3,000 B.C. and 1,600 B.C Stonehenge’s exact purpose still remains a mystery. The stones were brought from very long distances – the bluestones from the Preseli Hills more than 150 miles away, and the sarsens probably from the Marlborough Downs, 19 miles to the north.
The day marks the ancient middle of summer. It has significance for pagans who have always believed that midsummer day holds a special power.
Midsummer’s eve was believed to be a time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and when fairies were though to be at their most powerful.
Over the centuries, the June solstice has inspired many festivals and midsummer celebrations involving bonfires, picnics, singing, watching the sun rise and Maypole dancing. Many towns and villages across Britain still mark the day.
One ritual was the lighting of fires, heralding the start of shorter days, although this doesn’t really happen anymore. The idea was that flames would keep the dark away.
How are you going to make sure you get the max out of the days of daylight?
These are some of the ways people celebrate
Stonehenge always welcomes an influx of garland-wearing hippies, druids and curious tourists who head to the mysterious stone circles and wait for the sun to appear.
Crowds of around 20,000 greet the moment dawn breaks with a mixture of cheers and silent meditation.
It’s slightly quieter at the Avebury stone circle, Britain’s second greatest prehistoric site, about 20 miles from Stonehenge.
In Penzance, Cornwall, the Golowan Festival celebrates midsummer every year. This year the event takes place from June 21 to 30, with Mazey and Quay Fair Days to be held on June 29 and June 30.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
Always look like you know where you are going even if you don’t.
Happiness is… the longest day today and Midsummer’s Day tomorrow
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
Patient: Doctor I keep thinking I’m a fish
Doctor: Poor sole
Love is… feeling all bubbly
TRACK OF THE DAY
Summer In The City – Lovin’ Spoonful
Highest Chart Position: No.8 18th August 1966
WHAT DAY IS IT?
Friday 21st June 2019
Take Your Dog To Work Day
World Music Day
Go Skateboarding Day
Daylight Appreciation Day
Make Music Day
International Yoga Day
World Giraffe Day
Peaches N’ Cream Day
World Motorcycle Day
©2019 Phil M Robinson & jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk