Summer solstice 2022: The first day of summer and the year’s longest day.
While it may already feel like summer, the summer solstice, which occurs on Tuesday in the Northern Hemisphere, marks the formal start of the season.
The sun travels along its northernmost course in the sky for the northern half of the planet during the June solstice, resulting in the year’s longest day and shortest night.
Here’s all you need to know about the summer solstice in 2022, including the exact time:
The importance of the Summer Solstice
In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice marks the formal start of summer. It happens when Earth reaches the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt — roughly 23.5 degrees — toward the sun, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
As a consequence, the longest “day,” or duration of sunshine hours, is achieved.
According to the magazine, the term “solstice” derives from the Latin word “solstitium,” which is made up of the words “sol” (Sun) and “stitium” (still or halted). Due to the tilted axis of the Earth, the sun does not rise and set at the same points on the horizon every day. As our planet revolves around the sun during the year, its rising and set positions change northward or southward in the sky.
“The June solstice is notable because the Sun reaches its northernmost position in the sky at this time,” the Farmer’s Almanac says, “at which point the Sun’s course does not alter for a brief period of time.”
When is the summer solstice in the year 2022?
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the June solstice will occur on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at 5:14 a.m. EDT.
The June solstice marks the start of winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
The June solstice doesn’t always fall on the same day; it alternates between June 20, 21, and 22 this year. Its start and end times are determined by when the sun reaches the celestial equator’s northernmost point.
Is the first day of summer the summer solstice?
Summer has two official beginnings: meteorological and astronomical.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, most meteorologists split the year into four seasons based on the months and the temperature cycle, with summer beginning on June 1 and ending on August 31.
However, when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky at the summer solstice (June 20–22), it is considered the first day of summer.
The summer solstice and Stonehenge
Stonehenge, an ancient structure in Wiltshire, England, is cited by some historians as proof that people formerly used the June solstice to organise their calendars and begin counting the days of the year.
The sun rises behind the Heel Stone in the northeast portion of the horizon at Stonehenge on the solstice, according to English Heritage, a charitable organisation that cares for over 400 ancient structures, monuments, and sites. Its first rays shine into the core of Stonehenge.
“The sarsen stones, which were precisely positioned to match up with the motions of the sun when they were set up in the heart of the site in 2500 BC,” English Heritage added. “As a result, the whole arrangement of Stonehenge is positioned in reference to the solstices, or the sun’s extreme boundaries of movement.”
Previous summer solstice rituals and how to commemorate them
The date of the June solstice was used to organise calendars and determine when to produce and harvest crops in ancient times. According to Time and Date, this period of year has always been a great time for marriages.
The Feast of Epona was celebrated with bonfires in ancient Gaul, which encompassed modern-day France, to honour the solstice or midsummer solstice (June 24 in 2022).
The summer solstice was celebrated in ancient China to honour the Earth, femininity, and the “yin” elements.
The day also marks a turning point in the year, when the days begin to lengthen once more. Change, nature, and fresh beginnings are all connected with the shift.
The Ottawa Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival takes place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. According to Space Tourism Guide, the event focuses on First Nations summer solstice rituals.
Midsummer is a cheerful and large event in northern European nations such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland to honour the summer months.
“Midsummer in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is a time to visit the countryside and reconnect with nature. Many people build bonfires and drink, sing, and dance all night long “The date and time were written.
While hundreds of people gather to Stonehenge to commemorate the occasion, festivities commemorating the summer solstice are held around the United States.