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The astronomical summer begins with us on June 21st and that is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere of the earth, also called summer solstice for short. On this day, the Sun's zenith reaches its northernmost point and is perpendicular to the Tropic of Cancer, called the Tropic of Cancer. This longest day is marked as the official beginning of summer by astronomical definition north of the equator. It's the other way around in the southern hemisphere - that's where winter begins.
Our summer solstice begins at exactly 5:54 p.m. CEST today, but the time may vary from city to city. For example, in Berlin, the sun rises at 4:43 a.m. and sunset is at 9:33 p.m. The longest day of the year lasts 16 hours and 50 minutes this year. As a comparison, it will be 5 minutes shorter by the end of June, because the sun moves south again immediately after the summer solstice.
Summer Solstice 2022 is on June 21st and that is the longest day of the year.
Northern hemisphere residents are happy because today is the start of the warmest season when most people want to go on vacation and recharge their batteries. The northern part of the globe has plenty of solar energy for the next few months as the atmosphere and surface continue to warm up throughout the summer.
It will get warmer and warmer over the next few months, promising a good harvest.
The summer solstice is a natural phenomenon. The inclination of the earth's axis and the elliptical shape of the earth's orbit around the sun are responsible for this. Also interesting is the fact that the distance between the earth and the sun in June is approximately 5 million kilometers greater than it was at the winter solstice in December.
This photo shows the Earth's orbit around the Sun over a 12-month period.
The meteorological beginning of summer falls but does not agree with the astronomical. However, for the meteorologists, the first day of June is the beginning of the hottest season. Also, the summer solstice does not fall on June 21st every year, sometimes it is on June 20th or June 22nd. The summer solstice is the only day of the year when another natural phenomenon can be observed. The sun does not set in the Arctic Circle and there you can experience the midnight sun. The natural charm of all midnight sun nights in the Arctic Circle can hardly be described, you simply have to see it!
The midnight sun makes the nights in the Arctic Circle brighter and a little dreamier!
The summer solstice is shrouded in legends, myths and superstitions
The worship of the sun has a long tradition that dates back to prehistoric times. On the one hand, people have understood that life on earth is not possible without the sun. On the other hand, she could not explain many natural phenomena, such as the summer solstice. This is how the cult of the sun came into being, which encompasses many aspects, but is always associated with a bit of mysticism and magical power. For example, in pre-Christian times, midsummer was a 14-day festival celebrating the power of the sun with fire and wreaths of flowers.
An ancient tradition is to light a fire on the shortest night of the year.
There is something fascinating about sitting around the burning fire and watching the starry sky.
The Celts and Germans even believed that the gods descended to earth on the shortest night of the year. Therefore they burned fires on altars or in large meadows to show their worship. The fire's light should illuminate the nights and make them brighter. The perpetual turning of the wheel of the year was symbolized by a torch swinging in a circle. In addition, burning sun wheels were rolled down the slopes into the valley. The midsummer festival was rounded off with dancing and jumping over the fire and did not end until around midnight. There were also superstitions, for example when a couple jumped over the fire holding hands, it was a clear sign that both were getting married soon.
Wearing a beautiful wreath of flowers is also a Midsummer tradition.
Today much of the sun cult has been preserved, especially in certain social groups. Otherwise, the summer solstice in Germany is only celebrated in a few places as a festival. Now the longest day of the year is celebrated with lots of singing and dancing, with colorful wreaths of flowers and in a happy mood. The next video shows how to celebrate Midsummer in Sweden:
The cult of the sun has survived to this day.
Everyone finds their own way of worshiping the sun…
… . And to celebrate the summer solstice.
Or at least to be admired.