Summer is my favorite time of year. It means freedom: road trips, adventures, late nights, and overall, a good time. The stars are kind enough to mark each year with a summer solstice. You may be wondering: What is a solstice and why should I care? Well, we have some answers.
What is a Solstice?
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, a solstice occurs when a planet’s rotational axis is in either the southern or northern hemisphere. In the northern hemisphere, our summer solstice is usually on the longest day out of the year, which means more daylight — yay!
On Earth, we experience two solstices a year: this is important to note, because location will affect when we experience each season.
Importance of Location
Most of us reading this article live in the northern hemisphere (North America, Europe, Asia, Northern Africa, or Central America). Perhaps a few of us live in the southern hemisphere (Australia, New Zealand, South America, or southern Africa). If you live in the northern hemisphere, summer will kick off on June 21. Our friends in the southern hemisphere will experience summer on Dec. 21.
So besides the summer solstice affecting the seasons and providing a longer summer day, why are people interested?
Different cultures and religions celebrate the summer solstice. Wiccans consider the summer solstice to be a time to honor light and connect with the sun. In general, pagans believe the summer solstice brings power and abundance (something especially helpful if you farm or garden). Those of us who practice astrology see the summer solstice as a time of growth and potential.
Still many of us (regardless of belief) celebrate the summer solstice, because it’s the beginning of summer, which is a party in itself!
So, even if you don’t believe in the magic of the summer solstice, why not celebrate summer time? Here’s a super fun way to pay homage to it. —Alex