7 Facts About June Solstice
June Solstice is a specific day in June that reflects the official start of summer. This day is recognized because it is the longest day of the calendar year. The sun will stay out for a few hours longer than it usually does because it is tilted in a specific direction facing the sun, providing more daylight than any other day. It is recognized throughout the northern hemisphere and is celebrated in various ways depending on beliefs and cultures. There are also many traditions and myths surrounding this special time of the year. It is an overall fun and lighthearted celebration due to the increased sunshine and time off of school and work due to the summer vacation. Don't forget your summer equipment that you can get from eBay and check out our coupon deals for eBay
1. It does not always occur on the same day
The solstice does not always fall on the same calendar day of the year. Instead, it consistently falls somewhere between the days June 20 and June 22 depending on where the earth's axis is positioned. The solstice was first recognized by ancient people who celebrated with bonfires and vast superstitions concerning why the sun was visible for so much longer than normal and what it could mean. Some cultures celebrate on the 21st day of the month every year regardless of when the actual solstice falls. Many different countries declare the 21st as the official start of summer and hold celebrations through the week in June. This year the June Solstice will officially be on Monday, June 20, 2016.
2. It is caused by the earth's rotation
The science behind the June Solstice is fascinating. During the earth's journey around the sun each year, there are two different times that its axis is facing the sun at a tilt of 23 degrees. The earth reaches the sun's highest and brightest point. These two times are the summer solstice and the winter solstice. The winter solstice occurs at the end of December and features the shortest day of the year while the summer solstice occurs in June and features the longest day of the year. The sun is visible for much longer than normal because the sun is closer to earth than ever before.
3. The north and south poles experience an extended solstice
In the polar areas of the world, the summer solstice causes an extended effect. Instead of one day where the sun is brighter and visible for a longer period of time, these areas experience weeks and sometimes month of continuous sunlight. The phenomenon is also known as the Midnight Sun because the sun is ours even in the middle of the night. The sunlight can last for as long as six months in the North Pole depending on the year. The other half of the year, the winter solstice, causes the sun to appear for only small amounts of time and the areas of the Arctic Circle are covered in virtual darkness.
4. It is also known as Midsummer
Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream is the most famous reference to this celebration. In the play, many different supernatural beings are out causing mischief on the longest day of the year. The celebration known as Midsummer dates back to thousands of years ago when the people lit fires and to ward away the ghosts and witches that they believed to be wandering freely. Midsummer is a holiday to mark the June Solstice and it is recognized in many parts of the world, especially in Europe and East Asia. The day is also called St. John's Day, which is named after John the Baptist, the Christian saint who is said to be cousins with Jesus Christ. This holiday is celebrated by Christians and Freemasons on June 24 with a feast in Saint John's honor.
5. There are various celebrations for the June Solstice
Midsummer is only one of many festivals that occur because of the June Solstice. Secret Solstice Festival is a three-day music festival that takes place in Reykjavik, Iceland. Guests camp out for many days in a row to be a part of the multi-genre music experience. Tickets to attend this famous festival start at $200 for basic entrance, but more expensive tickets include a VIP experience and food and lodging at on-site hotels and cabins. This year's festival features artists Radiohead, Goldie, and Of Monsters and Men among many other acts. Stonehenge is a camping festival in Wiltshire, England that lasts for four days and includes beer, cider, and food. There are activities and events throughout the festival that celebrates the summer in the campsite that boasts the closest venue to the legendary Stonehenge. Camping with friends and family and picnic parties are also traditional ways to spend the June Solstice.
6. They are many myths surrounding the solstice
Fertility is said to be at its peak during this special time of year according to mythology. Many of the celebrations for the June solstice focus heavily on alcohol, which could explain the origins of this supposed connection. In Finland fertility of people, animals, and nature is acknowledged and honored during this time. In Greece, there is a tradition that dictates that a person can dream about their future spouse on the night before the June Solstice. Religious happenings are also supposed to abound. Many superstitions surrounding the summer solstice say that ghosts and evil spirits are allowed to roam free and wreak havoc on those who are also out late due to the sun. Some North American cultures celebrate the sun-gods during the time of the solstice and hold fire rituals and sacrifices in their honor.
7. June Solstice is a time for harvesting
The pagans traditional recognized the beginning of summer at the time of the first harvest. They had six different harvest times throughout their calendar year that would each warrant their own celebrations. A Christian celebration of the harvest at the end of May is celebrated in many areas of the United Kingdom. People celebrate with dancing around a decorated pole called a maypole while holding hands. In some areas of England a queen of the season is also crowned with the general focus being the arrival of the flowers and bright greenery of the summer months.
The June Solstice is a day rooted deep in tradition and mythology. It has been celebrated for thousands of years by diverse peoples spanning across the word. It is also a day to recognize the beginning of the summer season and a great opportunity to grab a cool drink and spend time outdoors enjoying the sunshine. Picnic sounds like a pretty great way to celebrate this, don't forget to get your picnic equipment on ebay by using our ebay coupon deal and don't forget your sandwich. Use our coupon deal for the best sandwich in town from Which wich.
No matter how you choose to spend this June Solstice, be sure to take advantage of the extra hours of sunlight and have fun!