Both the longest and shortest days on the planet. For the Northern and Southern hemispheres the solstice dates are flipped. The hemispheres exist above and below the earth’s equator. Summer Solstice – the beginning of summer – and when the North Pole is titled the closest to the sun, meaning it is also the brightest day of the year. On this day, the sun is directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer.
THE SUN SETS MORE SLOWLY AT THE SOLSTICE … Did you know that the Sun actually sets more slowly around the time of a solstice, in that it takes longer to set below the horizon?
Winter Solstice is the opposite – The beginning of winter – when the North Pole is titled the furthest to the sun, meaning it is also the darkest day of the year. Solstices and seasons should not be confused – they are not one in and the same. Seasons are actually a result of the earth being on a 23.5 degree tilt. Furthermore, meteorologists use seasons not solstices as their point of measure.
- Autumnal Equinox – September 22-23rd
- Summer Solstice – June 20-22nd
- Vernal Equinox – March 20-21st
- Winter Solstice – December 21-22nd
- Sun Stand Still – The term “solstice” is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still)
- Days were once 22 hours long – 4 million years ago
- People gather at Stonehenge to celebrate the solstice
- Symbolized the new year for the Ancient Egyptians
- Ancient Greeks marked the time with a festival and it was seen as a time of social equality
- Ancient Romans recognized the Goddess Vesta – goddess of the hearth
- Are you familiar with the Chinese yin yang symbol? The Ancient Chinese acknowledge the Yin during the Summer
- Visualized by Pagans with symbols of fire and water
- Since 1906 – Alaskans celebrate the with a Midnight baseball game
- In 1633, Galileo was forced to recant his notions regarding the Earth Sun. He then spent the rest of his life (9 years) under house arrest