The Summer Solstice is traditionally a festive day associated with the beginning of warmer months, longer days, early dawns, late sunsets and shorter nights in the Northern Hemisphere. In the southern half of the globe, it's the beginning of the winter season. Summer Solstice is on June 21. This year Summer Solstice is just a day after Father's Day on June 20. Celebrations and feasts on June Solstice are different in every country. The midsummer celebrations have a long history as well.
What is Summer Solstice?
The Solstice is the beginning of the astronomical summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It ends with the autumn equinox on September 22. Solstice marks almost equal duration of day and night as the Sun crosses the Line of Equator and moves over the Northern Hemisphere. On June solstice, the Earth is positioned is a way that the North Pole tilts towards the Sun.
Summer Solstice celebrations
A number of ancient celebrations are associated with the June Solstice. People used the day to organize calendars and farmers marked the day with sowing or harvesting of crops. Many historians say, Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument in England, is an evidence of humans using June Solstice as a way of setting the time of the year. Even now, tourists and locals visit Stonehenge to watch the sunrise on Summer Solstice.
According to the timeanddate.com, "In ancient China, the Summer Solstice was observed by a ceremony to celebrate the Earth, femininity, and the 'yin' forces. It complemented the Winter Solstice that celebrated the heavens, masculinity and 'yang' forces."
In Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, Summer Solstice is a time of midsummer night festivities. This is the time when countries near the Arctic enjoy the Midnight Sun. People dance around the Maypoles and bonfires. Homes are lit up and decorated with violets and vanilla flowers.