It’s official! Summer starts on Friday 21st June… How do we know that? Well, because the Earth’s axis has aligned with the sun. For the Druids among us, that means the Summer Solstice.
It’s our favourite time of the year, we can expect early dawns, long days and late sunsets…
So, the Northern Hemisphere, or the top half of the globe will be able to bask in the glory of the year’s longest day on June 21.
That’s right, there will be 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight. This is a big difference from the Winter Solstice, that takes place on December 21. On this day, we can expect up to 5 hours and 50 mins of daylight. That makes it the shortest day of the year; when the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere is pointing away from the sun.
You don’t need to be an Astrophysicist or have a degree on Celestial Mechanics to understand why all this toing and froing takes place!
The simple reason for it all is the Earth does not orbit straight, it is tilted by 23.5 degrees. As it moves around the sun, the Earth’s Hemispheres switch places collecting direct Sunlight.
The Summer Solstice is celebrated across the world. But the real party will be at Stonehenge. Thousands will be at the site for the Solstice. People travel to Stonehenge every year to take part in celebrations.
But as we know, the Solstice is a warm-up for the Glastonbury Festival, which begins on June 26 and runs until June 30.
Stonehenge still remains a mystery and nobody knows for sure what its real purpose was. It is believed that it was an ancient temple and its big stones track the Sun's movements across the sky. The reason for this was to let people work out the time of year – in other words, it’s a big calendar!
Other folks believe that the extra sunshine is very good for our wellbeing. Rebecca Gordon of My Path Astrology believes that “When there is an abundance of solar light in the sky, we naturally will feel like spending more time outdoors and with the people we love”.
This is true! As soon as we glimpse a crack in the clouds we can’t wait to get out into those warm sunrays and spend time with people. It makes us more sociable creatures – if not, sunburnt ones!
Our advice for the long summer days ahead is - after June 21, the days then start to draw in. Once this happens, use the extra hours of daylight for socialising, BBQs and hanging out with family and friends - there is no better time.