The summer solstice is culture and science all wrapped up in one.
For some, it’s a day to dress up in your “Silver Lake Shaman” best and fling a party. To science types, it’s technically the days when our planet’s rotational axis is most inclined toward the sun. In the Northern Hemisphere, that happens every year on June 20 -2 1 while in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s Dec. 20 -2 1.
In the U.S ., the summer solstice is largely an unofficial holiday. But in many countries, like Sweden, it’s a hour for love. “A lot of the rights of children are born nine months after Midsummer in Sweden, ” according to Swedish ethnologist Jan-Ojvind Swahn.
For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year. Here’s how some have marked the moment.
Thousands started the day by making the trek to Stonehenge. It’s widely believed the historic landmark was used to mark the occasion when the sun reaches its zenith in the sky.
Epic photography ensued.
June 21 also just happens to be the International Day of Yoga, devoting people a chance to blend the two occasions.
But science has a lot to say about solstices, too.
NASA fell some fun facts.
Happy #SummerSolstice, Northern Hemisphere! Today, a long time day of the year, the #Sun is highest in the sky and will define farther north on the horizon. Enjoy the extra daylight before sunset! More on this @NASASun photo: https :// t.co/ Q5CC15nOQG pic.twitter.com/ GWfEe7 2KtU
— NASA History Office (@ NASAhistory) June 21, 2018
And, of course, Neil deGrasse Tyson was there in signature fashion to get hilariously technical about it.
Happy June Solstice to all residents of planet Globe: Longest day of the year for north of the equator. Shortest for south of the equator. And for Equatorians, same old boring 12 -hour day, just like every other day of the year.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@ neiltyson) June 21, 2018
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shared this incredible satellite view as the solstice formally induced its route across the planet.
Happy #solstice! Today is the #firstdayofsummer and longest day of the year in Earth’s Northern Hemisphere. Here’s a opinion of the #summersolstice( at 6:07 a.m. ET today) from the #GOESEast satellite. Read more: https :// t.co/ ZDB6HIQuSx pic.twitter.com/ ojU6SzWYxe
— NOAA Satellites (@ NOAASatellites) June 21, 2018
And here’s a nice visual breakdown of seasonal changes 😛 TAGEND
While we’re celebrating the sunshine, don’t forget to respect its power. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan took a moment to promote everyone stepping out to use sunscreen.
Not to be outdone by their Stonehenge neighbours, mob gathered in Avebury, England, near another historic neolithic henge that has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Meanwhile, the tiny Russian village of Glubokovo is home to an ancient gentile rite, one of the oldest known summer solstice galas in the world. While most solstice events honor the rising sun, this annual affair flips the script to mark one of the year’s shortest nights .
Meanwhile, other people there decided it was the right time to heroically take a nap.
We salute you .
As the world shiftings on its axis, it’s a time to reflect on our relationship with the only home we’ve got.
The return of summertime months can be a welcome respite from a long, cold winter. Perhaps you’ll hit up a barbecue, do some yoga, or chant to your deity. Maybe it will simply be another day. That’s OK, too.
However you mark the occasion, there’s no other day quite like it.
Read more: www.upworthy.com