Everything You Need to Know About the Year’s Longest Day

We here at Tandahomes wish everyone a happy summer!
The June Solstice, which falls on June 21 this year, marks the astronomical start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
Many cultures around the world commemorate the solstice legends.

June’s Solstice
The June Solstice (also known as the Summer Solstice), occurs on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 10:58 A.M. EDT. This is when it takes place in the Northern Hemisphere when the Sun moves along its northernmost arc in the sky. The northern hemisphere’s summer officially begins at this time. (In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the other way around; the June solstice coincides with the Sun’s lowest point in the sky, signaling the start of winter.)

So, what Is the Summer Solstice?
The June solstice, also known as the summer solstice, is the longest period of sunlight and occurs when the Sun reaches its highest and most northern positions in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere. In the northern hemisphere, it signals the start of summer. (In contrast, the June solstice in the Southern Hemisphere marks the beginning of winter when the Sun is at its lowest position in the sky.)

The longest day and shortest night of the year coincide on this solstice, which occurs when Earth reaches the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its greatest tilt (about 23.5 degrees) toward the Sun. This marks the formal start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. (By longest “day,” we mean the amount of time spent in sunshine.) The Northern Hemisphere receives sunlight at its highest direct angle of the year on the day of the June solstice.
The June solstice heralds the start of winter in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Solstice never falls on the same day every year.
The Sun’s northernmost position from the celestial equator determines when the June solstice occurs; it is not dependent on a specific calendar day or hour. The solstice won’t always fall on the same day as a result. It alternates between June 20, 21, and 22 at the moment.

The Latin word “solstice” is derived from the words “sol” (the Sun) and “stitium” (still or stopped). The Sun doesn’t rise and set at the same spots on the horizon every morning and evening because of the tilted axis of the Earth; instead, as Earth revolves around the Sun throughout the year, its rising and set positions move northward or southward in the sky. Additionally, the Sun moves higher or lower in the sky during the year. When the Sun reaches its northernmost point in the sky during the June solstice, the Sun’s path remains unchanged for a brief period of time. This makes the June solstice notable.

The Sun seems to turn around and move in the opposite direction after the solstice. The apparent path of the Sun as seen in the sky at the same time each day, such as at local noon, is the motion being discussed here. Over the course of a year, its route creates an analemma, which is a kind of flattened figure eight. The Sun isn’t actually moving (unless you take into account its orbit around the Milky Way galaxy), yet we on Earth do observe a shift in the Sun’s position in the sky due to Earth’s axis’ tilt as it orbits the Sun and its elliptical, not circular, orbit.

On the June solstice, the Sun will be at its highest point in the sky for locales north of the Tropic of Cancer, and you’ll notice that your shadow (at local noon, or solar noon, rather than atomic noon) will be the shortest of the entire year (there won’t even be a shadow at the Tropic of Cancer). [Local noon] is the time of day when the Sun is highest in the sky and passes the local meridian, which is a hypothetical line connecting the North and South poles.
The June solstice is the shortest day of the year and the start of winter for people who reside in the Southern Hemisphere.

Question and Answer Sheets:
Q: Does the Summer Solstice mark the start of summer?
A: Both yes, and no, In a technical sense, it differs according on whether we’re referring to the meteorological or astronomical start of the season. Because it makes it easier to compare and analyze climatic data, most meteorologists divide the year into four seasons based on the months and the temperature cycle. In this scheme, the season of summer runs from June 1 to August 31. As a result, in terms of weather, the summer solstice is not regarded as the start of the season.
But, according to astronomy, the summer solstice (June 20–22) marks the beginning of summer, when the Sun reaches its zenith in the sky. Astronomically speaking, the summer solstice is regarded as the start of the summer season. Meteorological or astronomical, you may choose to follow whichever system you like best!

Q: Why Doesn’t the Summer Solstice Occur Every Year on the Same Date?
A: The Northern Hemisphere’s summer solstice occurs between June 20 and June 22. The tropical year—the length of time it takes the Earth to complete one orbit of the Sun—has around 365.242199 days, which is different from the Gregorian calendar system, which typically has 365 days. The Gregorian calendar adds a leap day approximately every four years to make up for the missing fraction of days, which causes the start of summer to go backward. The Moon and other planets’ gravitational pulls, as well as the Earth’s rotational trembling, are other factors that might affect the date.

Summer Solstice Dates and Times
Year        Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere) Summer Solstice (Southern Hemisphere)
2023 Wednesday, June 21, at 10:58 A.M. EDT Thursday, December 21
2024 Thursday, June 20, at 4:51 P.M. EDT        Saturday, December 21
2025 Friday, June 20, at 10:43 P.M. EDT        Sunday, December 21
2026 Sunday, June 21, at 4:24 A.M. EDT        Monday, December 21

Celebrating the Solstice is observed by many by picking strawberries. On the solstice, we can indulge in a large bowl of strawberries and cream. Like the Swedes, enjoy the first strawberries of the season to mark the start of summer. Since June’s full Moon is sometimes referred to as the Strawberry Moon, enjoying some strawberries and cream is the ideal way to commemorate the June solstice. Look up pick-your-own-strawberry farms in your area!

Enjoy a bonfire on the solstice.
One of the four historic quarter days of the year is June 24, which is also a popular solstice festival in the north and is known as Midsummer’s Day. Midsummer’s Eve, the previous evening, is the shortest night of the year. Having a bonfire party is a typical way to celebrate! After all, these residents of the north have survived several protracted, gloomy winters! It is a breathtakingly magnificent sight to see torches and bonfires lit on mountain sides in the Austrian state of Tyrol.

Midsummer’s Eve (St. John’s Eve), which falls on June 23, is reported to be spent awake around a bonfire and in search of a mystical fern flower that is said to bring good luck before washing one’s face in the morning dew, according to ancient Latvian legend.

Fun information
The sunrise is not the earliest on the solstice.
The earliest sunrises of the year happen before the summer solstice, despite the fact that the day of the solstice has the most sunshine hours of the year. Your latitude will have an impact on the precise timing. It happens around a week before the June solstice at midlatitudes in the Northern Hemisphere.
Sunrises are timed according to the inclination of the Earth’s rotating axis and its elliptical (as opposed to circular) orbit.
Depending again on latitude, the year’s latest sunsets will happen several days following the solstice.

At the solstice, the Sun sets more slowly.
Did you know that near a solstice, the Sun actually sets more slowly, taking longer to sink beyond the horizon? This has to do with how the Sun sets at an angle. The narrower the angle of the setting Sun, the further it is from the due west down the horizon. (Contrarily, it moves more quickly at or near the equinoxes.) In conclusion, savor the lengthy, romantic summertime sunsets that occur on or around the solstice!