How we long for summer, yet with a blink of the eye, the summer season can rapidly speed past without a second thought.
Approaching on the 21st June is the Summer Solstice. Marking the official arrival of the longest day of the year, we explain why this day is celebrated. And here we have 5 interesting facts about this yearly event that we are confident that you will not have known until today!
What is the Summer Solstice?
There are two solstices every year, the summer solstice and the winter solstice. In 2019, the summer solstice takes place on the 21st June, while the winter solstice is on the 21st December, marking both the longest and the shortest days of the year.
The Summer Solstice will receive 8 hours and 49 minutes more daylight hours than the Winter Solstice. For those wanting to celebrate this yearly event, the sunrise will take place in London at 04:43 and set at 21:21, while those wanting to mark the occasion at Stonehenge in Salisbury will feel the day’s rays at 04:52 before they set at 21:26.
Five interesting facts
- Throughout the Summer Solstice you can find the sun directly overhead the tropic of cancer. Refereed to as the tropic of cancer, this region is also known as the Northern Tropic and is the most northern circle on the world map.
- The name Summer Solstice originates from the fact that the sun appears to stand still. With solstice coming from the Latin words Sol (sun) and Sistere (to stand still) due to the sun’s position in the sky at noon that does not appear to change throughout the Summer Solstice and the days surrounding it.
- The hottest weather throughout the year follows the Summer Solstice by a few weeks. This is because although the longest day of the year, the temperature does not tend to reach its peak until a month or two later. The water that makes up the majority of the Earth’s surface remains at a specific heat and takes time to heat up or cool down and can take up to six weeks to catch up with the sun.
- In Ancient Egypt, the Summer Solstice marked the arrival of the New Year. It is preceded by the appearance of the Sirius Star which in Ancient Egypt, the Egyptians believed to be responsible for the annual flooding of the Nile. An important feature in the Egyptian Calendar, the New Year began with the arrival of the star of Sirius.
- The Earth is actually the farthest from the sun on the Summer Solstice. Many think that the sun would be closer to the sun during the solstice, however this is far from the case. The sun is the closet to the sun when the Northern Hemisphere experiences winter and if furthest away during the summer solstice. The warmth that the summer experiences comes from the tilt of the earth’s axis and not how close the sun is to the earth.
If we have inspired and educated you with these top 5 facts about the Summer Solstice, you may feel motivated to go out and celebrate it’s arrival for yourself.
Whether you are planning a bonfire, visiting Stonehenge or wanting to organise a barbecue with family and friends while enjoying the lingering sun, head over to our website for tools and gadgets for all activities.