Search This Blog

Sunday, 22 May 2016


Astronomically, midsummer is the day of the summer solstice, or longest day, which usually falls on June 20 or 21. The last time it did not fall on either of those dates was in 1975 when it was June 22nd.

The summer solstice is when the Sun is at its highest point in the sky during a year. The solstice itself is one moment, but many use the word to mean the day when the solstice happens.

Diagram of the Earth's seasons as seen from the north. Far left: summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere. Front right: summer solstice for the Southern Hemisphere. By Tauʻolunga - Own work, 

The word solstice comes from Latin and means that "the Sun stands still".

In Ancient Roman times, June 24 in the Julian calendar was the date of the summer solstice, so 'midsummer' and the solstice were the same thing.

The earliest known reference to midsummer is in a tenth century Anglo-Saxon translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History.

In 14th century England, Midsummer’s Eve was celebrated on June 23rd with bonfires and feasting.

By Ralf Roletschek at German Wikipedia - Self-published work by Ralf Roletschek at de.wikipedia,

The Summer solstice is a tradition for many pagans. Some choose to hold the rite on June 21, even when this is not the longest day of the year, and some celebrate June 24, the day of the solstice in Roman times.

Although Midsummer was originally a pagan holiday, in Christianity it is associated with the nativity of John the Baptist, which is observed on the same day, June 24, in the Catholic, Orthodox and some Protestant churches.

In Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Quebec, Midsummer Day (June 24th) is a public holiday.

The summer and winter solstices occur when the sun reaches its highest and lowest apparent positions in the sky. The word “solstice” is from the Latin words for “sun” and “standing still”.

Everywhere above the Arctic Circle has 24 hours of sunlight on the day of the summer solstice.

In Alaska they celebrate the summer solstice with a midnight game of baseball.

In Sweden the Midsummer is such an important festivity that there have been serious discussions to make the Midsummer's Eve into the National Day of Sweden.

Midsummer celebration at Årnäs, Sweden, in 1969

The New York City Swedish Midsummer celebrations in Battery Park, New York City, attracts some 3,000-5,000 people annually, which makes it one of the largest celebrations after the ones held in Leksand and at the Skansen Park in Stockholm.

Despite the warm weather in the Northern hemisphere, the Earth is actually furthest from the sun near our summer solstice.

Source Daily Express

No comments:

Post a Comment