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Summer solstice

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Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of summer solstice on northern hemisphere

The summer solstice is an astronomical term regarding the position of the Sun in relation to the celestial equator. The summer solstice is the date with the longest daylight period and hence with the shortest night. This date usually falls on June 21/June 22 (in the Northern hemisphere) or December 21/December 22 (in the Southern hemisphere).

At the time of this solstice, the earth is in that point of its orbit at which the hemisphere in question is most tilted towards the sun, causing the sun to appear at its farthest above the celestial equator when viewed from earth.

Midsummer is the time around the summer solstice. There are traditional holidays celebrated in Northern Europe and elsewhere at this time. In Denmark midsummers eve is known as Sankt Hans Aften. Bonfires are lit on beaches throughout the land as darkness comes and effigies and fireworks are thrown into the fires. It is also a Wiccan sabbat, called litha; every year a big celebration takes place at Stonehenge.

In the USA, Canada, Britain and some other countries, the summer solstice is regarded as the start of summer. In other reckonings, the summer solstice is midsummer. In Ireland, the solstices and equinoxes all occur at about midpoint in each season. For example, summer begins on May 1, and ends on July 31.

See also

External links

fr:Solstice d't ko:하지 ja:夏至 pl:Przesilenie letnie sv:Sommarsolstndet vi:Hạ ch zh:夏至

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