June 18, 2021 7 min read
This year is full of notable astronomical events and we are excited to bring you another such rare occurrence in our latest episode of Cosmic Saga. Last week we promised to come up with new insights on what celestial events are happening in our world (and beyond it). So, here we are!
Even though the temperature has been breaking charts for a while now and you might have already enjoyed your summer break, don't be amazed if we tell you that summer isn't over yet. Yes, while some countries are ready to bid goodbye to summer, those in the northern hemisphere are preparing to welcome the first day of summer!
Summer solstice 2021- the longest day of the year falls on Monday, June 21, 2021, which marks the start of summer and the return of brighter evenings in the Northern Hemisphere. For many cultures across the world, the first day of summer is celebrated with festivities and rituals that signify the sun's primacy and its value to human life. Let's find out more about the June solstice and the importance it holds:
First things first, let's understand what solstice stands for. The term solstice was made up of two Latin words, 'sol' meaning the Sun and 'stice' meaning still. Summer solstice takes place when the Earth is positioned in a way that the North Pole is most inclined toward the Sun and is promptly above the Tropic of Cancer. On the summer solstice, the day and night are of equal length due to the Sun crossing the line of the celestial equator and moving southwards to the northern hemisphere.
The solstice occurs twice a year between June 20 and 22, once in each hemisphere. It ceases with the autumn equinox on September 22.
June solstice is of great cultural importance and religious value among many ancient communities including the Chinese and Egyptians. Early sunrises. Long days. Late sundowns. Brief nights - That's the essence of the summer solstice.
Across the globe, the June solstice is regarded as the revival of life, inner and outer abundance, fertility, the potential for a good harvest, and the full return of the light of the sun. There is an age-old tradition observed in China where people celebrate the June solstice with a ceremony where they rejoice the Earth, femininity, and the 'yin' forces.
The celebration of both the winter solstice and the summer solstice is most strongly associated with the Pagan festival of ‘Litha’. This festival commences on the eve of the summer solstice where people applaud the power of sun God and the magic of midsummer.
Many historians have uncovered that Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in Amesbury, Wiltshire in the United Kingdom, is the place used to set the time of year and where the Pagans celebrate the longest day of the year as it promptly aligns to the solstices.
Do the movements of Earth thrill you? Well, we have interesting videos and interactive content to help you learn more about the Earth and even the solar system. Head to the Practically learning app, and experience hands-on learning through 3D videos, simulations, AR, and a lot more!
That's it for today in our Cosmic Saga series. We'll soon be back with another episode of celestial insights! Till then, stay tuned and learn Practically!
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