Published June 24, 2010
Summer Solstice - the first day of summer - began June 21, 2010 at 7:28 am EDT this year. So what exactly is the summer solstice and how do people celebrate? Below are some Summer Solstice fun facts:
- As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Northern Hemisphere celebrates in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.
- Summer Solstice and Winter solstice are the most common names. However, these can be ambiguous since seasons of the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere are opposites, and the summer solstice of one hemisphere is the winter solstice of the other.
- Awed by the great power of the sun, civilizations have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer otherwise known as the Summer Solstice, Midsummer (see Shakespeare), St. John's Day, or the Wiccan Litha.
- Summer weddings were, and still are, popular during this time.
- It is overseas that Midsummer is truly recognized. If you visit Stonehenge, in the English country of Wiltshire, the English heritage has it opened for Solstice celebrations.
- Sweden celebrates Midsummer Eve and Midsummer Day from June 19 to June 25. Sweden is more traditional in their festival. They raise and dance around the Maypole and have a great feast.
- France has the "Fête de la Saint-Jean" or the Feast of St John. Taking place on June 24, towns build large bonfires to celebrate Saint John the Baptist.