Long Day! The History of the Summer Solstice

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The summer solstice, the first day of summer, is the longest day of the year. There are a few facts about the day that some might not realize. The summer solstice doesn’t always have a specific date. However, it does fall between June 20 and June 22. Most years, it’s right in the middle on June 21. The date and time reflect the moment when the sun is at its highest peak in the year.

Solstice is a Latin term. “Sol” means sun, and “sistere” means to stand still. The sun appears to be standing at a point where it doesn’t move on this day, and doesn’t seem to move from its position in the following days.

One of the largest celebrations of the event was held in Scandinavian countries. They would light bonfires to celebrate the special day. The largest bonfire reached a little over 132 feet.

Some areas feel the heat of summer before the solstice arrives. However, there are areas that don’t see the hot temperatures until a few weeks after. This is because of the way water temperatures work with the air temperature. It often takes a few weeks for the water temperatures to rise, which releases warm air into the atmosphere causing the higher air temperatures. Summer heat waves often arrive in July and August instead of in June.

It is often thought that the Earth is closer to the sun in the summer, which causes warmer temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere. The warmer weather is actually caused by the axis being tilted closer to the sun. The Earth is farther away during the summer and closer to the sun in the winter.

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