Summer Solstice 2021; A look at the ‘Longest day of the year’

Summer solstice refers to the longest day and the shortest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer Solstice 2021 will occur on Monday, June 21, 2021. Technically, the solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the imaginary Tropic of Cancer or 23.5°N latitude. The term ‘solstice’ comes from Latin —’sol’ means sun and ‘sistere’ means to stand still.

Solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice a year, once in summer (June) and once in winter (December). It is summertime in the UK, the USA, Canada, Russia, India, and China during June solstice and it is the longest day of the year while it is winter time in Australia, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa and it is the shortest day of the year. The reverse process occurs during the December solstice.

This year, the summer solstice coincides with International Yoga Day, and due to the Covid pandemic, Yoga day is celebrated virtually.

This day is characterized by a greater amount of energy received from the sun. According to NASA, the amount of incoming energy the Earth received from the sun on this day is 30 percent higher at the North Pole than at the Equator.

The maximum amount of sunlight received by the Northern Hemisphere during this time is usually on June 20, 21, or 22. In contrast, the Southern Hemisphere receives most sunlight on December 21, 22, or 23 when the northern hemisphere has its longest nights– or the winter solstice.

There are a lot of ancient celebrations at this time. People used the day to organize calendars and farmers marked the day with or harvesting of crops. Many historians say, Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in England, is evidence of humans using June Solstice as a way of setting the time of the year. Even now, tourists and locals visit Stonehenge to watch the sunrise on Summer Solstice.

In Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, Summer Solstice is a time of midsummer night festivities. This is the time when countries near the Arctic enjoy the Midnight Sun. People dance around the Maypoles and bonfires. Homes are lit up and decorated with violets and vanilla flowers.

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