Break out the lemonade, flip flops, air conditioner, beach bags and sunscreen, the first day of summer has officially arrived. Summer Solstice, June 20 officially kicks off summer as the official first day of summer. Summer Solstice can fall on either June 20, 21 or 22, depending.
About Summer Solstice
Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere – and this year, 2012 – it might also be the hottest, for those who live on the east coast of the United States, as temperatures in NYC are well into the 90’s. Summer solstice is the longest day of the year, when the sun is the furthest away from the equator.
Summer Solstice happens when the earth’s axial tilt is most inclined to the sun. In fact, the tilting of the earth’s axis it the whole reason for the season, as they say. We wouldn’t have seasons without this.
Summer solstice is also referred to as June Solstice or Midsummer. The word Solstice is derrived from the latin word, Sol or Solstitium, which means sun and the word Sistere or Stitium, which means to stop or stand still.
“It is summer, it is the solstice
the crowd is
cheering, the crowd is laughing
~ William Carlos Williams (poet)
In places like Norway and Denmark this day is also known as the day that never ends. In fact, in the northern most areas of Norway and Finland the sun will cease from setting for months to come. (a strong argument for sleeping eye masks.)
Summer Solstice Celebrations
Countries around the globe celebrate this midsummer in many different ways. This year, NYC’s Times Square welcomed an all day yoga fest, appropriately named “Mind over Madness,” bringing much needed zen and ohm to one of the world’s most anti-zen places on earth.
Meanwhile, at Stonehendge in England, some 20,000 people flock to become one with the stones as they dance and meditate and celebrate all night long.
This cute video shows the Google doodles from Summer Solstice days over the years: