What is a Solstice?
We have all been noticing that the days have gradually been getting longer and longer as we get further into this year. The longest day of the year is yet to come on the day of the Summer Solstice. This year it is June 20th. The date usually varies from June 20 to June 22 depending of all things on the Earth’s orbit. This is when the Sun appears to have reached the highest point in the sky due to the closest tilt of the Earth’s axis toward the Sun.
Okay so enough with the science and now for the real stuff.
For hundreds of years, the Summer Solstice was seen as a significant time of the year in many cultures and celebrated with festivals and bonfires. Many still mark it as the beginning of Summer and the end of Spring. Other cultures recognize it as midsummer and the time of the first harvest of the planted crops.
The word Solstice comes from the Latin words sol (Sun) and sister (to stand still) as at this time the Sun appears to stand still in the sky to the eye. Actually the Sun finishes its Northern trek and then pauses before it appears to start its Southern trek. After the Solstice that days will actually start to shorten as we begin to head down towards the Winter Solstice in December and the shortest day of the year.
Stonehenge still sees yearly celebrations of the Summer Solstice when many gather to view the sunrise and sunset of the Summer Solstice. It was constructed between 3000 and 2000 BC. How it was constructed with the great stones aligned to the sunset of the Winter Solstice and the sunrise of the Summer Solstice amazes me. It was produced prehistory with no written records of how. I had visited this site in 2009 and it is very humbling to imagine how this was built.
Here is a link for a video of a past celebration in 2019 at Stonehenge.
Also here’s a link for a live online event at Stonehenge tomorrow note EST times are 4:26 PM EST for Sunset on 6/20 and 11:52 PM on 6/20 for sunrise.
I just wanted to share this with you as it is a bit of interesting information about cycles that we are living in and may not be aware of. We live in solar (daily dawn till dusk), lunar (new moon to full and back to new) and seasonal (Spring –Summer – Fall –Winter and back again). Our ancestors before us, knew this and celebrated the changes and maybe we need to notice these more too.
We see movies about the circle of life on Disney but do we realize how that can impact us?
What do you think?
Please comment your thoughts below and let me know.