THE LONGEST DAY – SUMMER SOLSTICE
jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 21st June 2018
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
Today is the longest day of the year: 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight to be precise (June 21). And I just love the longest day.
The reason is you expect it to be bright and summery. I love to pack in to a day the most I can and that lends itself to do that.
I normally like to be up at sunrise on the Longest Day and not go to bed until it sets. I failed to be up early enough today!
So let’s look at what the internet says about The Longest Day.
Most people know of William Shakespeare’s famous A Midsummer Night’s Dream – the romantic comedy set on the night of the summer solstice – but does everyone know what the summer solstice actually is?
Well, it falls between 20th and 22nd June each year in the Northern Hemisphere – commonly on 21st June – and is the longest day of the year.
But why is this day longer than others? And how do people mark the occasion? For everything you need to know about the summer solstice, keep reading.
What is the summer solstice?
Also known as ‘midsummer’, when a planet’s rotational axis tilts most towards the star that it orbits – or in earths’ case, when it tilts to a maximum of 23.44° towards the sun – this is when the ‘summer solstice’ occurs.
This day has the longest period of daylight and happens twice each year: in the Northern Hemisphere in June and in the Southern Hemisphere between 20th and 23rd December (conversely when the Northern Hemisphere’s ‘winter solstice’ – the shortest day – occurs).
During the summer solstice of the Northern Hemisphere, countries far north like Norway can even experience 24-hours continuous daylight – a phenomenon which lasts for a days or even months (depending on proximity to the North Pole).
What happens after the longest day of the year?
After the summer solstice, the earth starts to tilt back on itself, decreasing daylight hours, meaning the days become shorter by seconds, and as time goes on, minutes.
All-night parties and festivities take place at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, on the eve of the summer solstice. Revelers, spiritualists and tourists gather at the site and wait until dawn to witness the solstice sunrise. Druids, a pagan religious order dating back to Celtic Britain, believe Stonehenge to be a center of spiritualism.
How long is the longest day?
In the UK, the longest day begins at 4.43am and ends at 9.21pm, which means that in Britain, we will enjoy 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight on June 21.
The solstice itself is the exact time the sun shines over the Tropic of Cancer, which this year will be at 11:07am BST.
How is the summer solstice celebrated?
For many thousands of years, Stonehenge – England’s ancient prehistoric world heritage site – is visited over the summer solstice as a place of worship and celebration.
Individuals, or those in a group, assemble at this ancient site to conduct their own ceremonies or celebrations – the only stipulation of which being that they are respectful and tolerant of others around them.
The two best Longest Days I remember are being in Crail, East Scotland. A beautiful Longest Day with special festivals all around. The other was Holly Island where we sat and waited for and watched the sunset on the beach listening to the seals and in the distance the sound of the Virgin (as it was then) East Coast Line Express as it sped first south and then north, all lit up cutting through the countryside.
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY
History remembers the dreams that become reality. Rees Quinn, Disney
Happiness is…being awake for all the daylight hours of the Longest Day of the Year
GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY
Thanks for explaining the word “many” to me, it means a lot.
Love is…just the beginning of the journey
TRACK OF THE DAY
Summertime – Billie Holliday
Highest Chart Position: There are over 25,000 recordings of “Summertime”. In September 1936, a recording by Billie Holiday was the first to hit the US pop charts, reaching No. 12
©2018 Phil M Robinson