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The summer solstice, also known as estival solstice or
midsummer Midsummer is the period of time in the middle of the summer. The exact dates vary among different cultures, but is primarily held close to the summer solstice The summer solstice, also known as estival solstice or midsummer, occurs when one of ...

midsummer
, occurs when one of Earth's
poles The Poles,, ; singular masculine: ''Polak'', singular feminine: ''Polka'' or Polish people, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the loc ...
has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. It happens twice yearly, once in each
hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western Hemisphere ** Land and water hemispheres * A half of the ...
(Northern and Southern). For that hemisphere, the summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky (for areas outside of the
tropics The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% ...

tropics
) and is the day with the longest period of daylight. Within the Arctic circle (for the northern hemisphere) or Antarctic circle (for the southern hemisphere), there is
continuous daylight
continuous daylight
around the summer solstice. On the summer solstice, Earth's maximum
axial tilt In , axial tilt, also known as obliquity, is the angle between an object's and its al axis, or, equivalently, the angle between its ial plane and . It differs from . At an obliquity of 0 degrees, the two axes point in the same direction; i.e., ...
toward the Sun is 23.44°. Likewise, the Sun's
declination In astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses math ...
from the
celestial equator The celestial equator is the great circle A great circle, also known as an orthodrome, of a sphere of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a Geometry, geometrical object in solid geometry, three-dimensiona ...
is 23.44°. The summer solstice occurs during summer. This is the
June solstice The June solstice is the solstice on the Earth that occurs each year falling on 20–22 June according to the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by Pope G ...
in the
Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remain ...

Northern Hemisphere
and the
December solstice The December solstice, also known as the southern solstice, is the that occurs each December – typically on 21 December, but may vary by one day in either direction according to the . In the , the December solstice is the (the day with the s ...
in the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western He ...

Southern Hemisphere
. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs sometime between June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 in the Southern Hemisphere. The same dates in the opposite hemisphere are referred to as the
winter solstice The winter solstice, also called the hibernal solstice, occurs when either of Earth's geographical pole, poles reaches its maximum axial tilt, tilt away from the Sun. This happens twice yearly, once in each hemisphere (Northern Hemisphere, Nort ...

winter solstice
. Since prehistory, the summer solstice has been seen as a significant time of year in many cultures, and has been marked by festivals and rituals. Traditionally, in many
temperate In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populati ...
regions (especially Europe), the summer solstice is seen as the middle of summer and referred to as "midsummer". Today, however, in some countries and calendars it is seen as the beginning of summer.


Distinctions

Although the summer solstice is the longest day of the year for that hemisphere, the dates of earliest sunrise and latest sunset vary by a few days. This is because Earth orbits the Sun in an ellipse, and its orbital speed varies slightly during the year. Although the Sun appears at its highest altitude from the viewpoint of an observer in outer space or a terrestrial observer outside tropical latitudes, the highest altitude occurs on a different day for certain locations in the tropics, specifically those where the Sun is directly overhead (maximum 90 degrees elevation) at the
subsolar point The subsolar point on a planet is the point at which its sun is perceived to be directly overhead (at the zenith); that is, where the sun's rays strike the planet exactly perpendicular In elementary geometry, the property of being perpendicu ...

subsolar point
. This day occurs twice each year for all locations between the
Tropic of Cancer The Tropic of Cancer, which is also referred to as the Northern Tropic, is the most northerly circle of latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted ...

Tropic of Cancer
and
Tropic of Capricorn The Tropic of Capricorn (or the Southern Tropic) is the circle of latitude A circle of latitude or line of latitude on is an abstract – connecting all locations around Earth (ignoring ) at a given . Circles of latitude are often ...
because the overhead Sun appears to cross a given latitude once before the day of the solstice and once afterward. For example, Lahaina Noon occurs in May and July in Hawaii. See
solstice A solstice is an event that occurs when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere In astronomy and navigation, the celestial sphere is an abstraction, abstr ...

solstice
article. For all observers, the apparent position of the noon Sun is at its most northerly point on the June solstice and most southerly on the December solstice.


Full moon

The year 2016 was the first time in nearly 70 years that a full moon and the
Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remain ...

Northern Hemisphere
's summer solstice occurred on the same day. The 2016 summer solstice's full moon rose just as the Sun set.


Cultural aspects

The significance given to the summer solstice has varied among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way with
holiday A holiday is a day set aside by Norm (social), custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate ...

holiday
s,
festival A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or cultures. It is often marked as a local or national holiday, mela, or Muslim holidays, eid. A festiva ...

festival
s, and
ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gesture A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication Nonverbal communication (NVC) is the transmission of messages or signals through a nonverbal platform such as eye contact, facial exp ...

ritual
s around that time with themes of religion or fertility. For example, in
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
,
midsummer Midsummer is the period of time in the middle of the summer. The exact dates vary among different cultures, but is primarily held close to the summer solstice The summer solstice, also known as estival solstice or midsummer, occurs when one of ...

midsummer
is one of the year's major holidays when the country closes down as much as during Christmas. In some regions, the summer solstice is seen as the beginning of
summer Summer is the hottest of the four temperate In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenom ...

summer
and the end of
spring Spring(s) may refer to: Common uses * Spring (season), a season of the year * Spring (device), a mechanical device that stores energy * Spring (hydrology), a natural source of water * Spring (mathematics), a geometric surface in the shape of a heli ...
. In other cultural conventions, the solstice is closer to the middle of summer. ''Solstice'' is derived from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
words ''sol'' (Sun) and ''sistere'' (to stand still).


Date


Celebrations

*
Midsummer Midsummer is the period of time in the middle of the summer. The exact dates vary among different cultures, but is primarily held close to the summer solstice The summer solstice, also known as estival solstice or midsummer, occurs when one of ...

Midsummer
* Noc Kupały (
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
) *
Dragon Boat Festival The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional holiday which occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese calendar. The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, so the date of the festival varies from year to year on the Gregorian cal ...
(
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
) *
Christmas Christmas is an annual festival commemorating Nativity of Jesus, the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people Observance of Christmas by country, around the world ...

Christmas
typically marks the southern summer solstice. *
Saint John's Eve Saint John's Eve, starting at sunset on 23 June, is the eve of celebration before the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke The Gospel according to Luke ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Λουκᾶν , translit=Euangélion ...
or June
solstice A solstice is an event that occurs when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere In astronomy and navigation, the celestial sphere is an abstraction, abstr ...

solstice
celebration (
Catalan countries Catalan Countries ( ca, Països Catalans, ) refers to those territories where the Catalan language Catalan (; autonym Autonym may refer to: * Autonym, the name used by a person to refer to themselves or their language; see Exonym and e ...

Catalan countries
) * Day of Private Reflection (
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
) * (
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
) * (
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, Norway to the north, and is defined by the Gulf of B ...

Finland
) * Jāņi (
Latvia Latvia ( or ; lv, Latvija ; ltg, Latveja; liv, Leţmō), officially known as the Republic of Latvia ( lv, Latvijas Republika, links=no, ltg, Latvejas Republika, links=no, liv, Leţmō Vabāmō, links=no), is a country in the Baltic re ...

Latvia
) * Rasos (
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
) * National Aboriginal Day (
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
) * Tiregān (
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
) * (
Fremont, Seattle, Washington Fremont is a neighborhood A neighbourhood (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Sa ...
,
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
) *
Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Parade Image:SolsticeParade1.jpg, A float in the 2009 parade Originating as a birthday celebration, Santa Barbara, California's Summer Solstice Parade began in 1974. This parade was created for Michael Gonzalez, a Santa Barbara, California, Santa Barbara ...
(
Santa Barbara, California Santa Barbara ( es, Santa Bárbara, meaning "Saint Barbara Saint Barbara ( el, Ἁγία Βαρβάρα; cop, Ϯⲁⲅⲓⲁ Ⲃⲁⲣⲃⲁⲣⲁ; ), known in the Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called t ...
,
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
) * International Surfing Day * * Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day


Winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere

*
Inti Raymi The Inti Raymi'rata (Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from ...

Inti Raymi
,
Machu Picchu Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol ...

Machu Picchu
,
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
* We Tripantu, (
Mapuche The Mapuche ( (Spanish: )) are a group of Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indigenous inhabitants of present-day south-central Chile and southwestern Argentina, including parts of present-day Patagonia. The collective term refers to a wide-ra ...

Mapuche
, southern
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
) * Willkakuti, an Andean-Amazonic New Year (
Aymara Aymara may refer to: Languages and people * Aymaran languages Aymaran (also Jaqi or Aru) is one of the two dominant language families in the central Andes alongside Quechua languages, Quechuan. The family consists of Aymara language, Aymara, wi ...
)


Length of the day on the summer solstice of the north

Length of day increases from the equator towards the North Pole in the Northern Hemisphere in June (around the summer solstice there), but decreases towards the South Pole in the Southern Hemisphere at the time of the southern winter solstice.


See also

*
Daytime On Earth, daytime is the period of the day during which a given location experiences Daylight, natural illumination from direct sunlight. Daytime occurs when the Sun appears above the local horizon, that is, anywhere on the globe's Hemisphere ...

Daytime
*
Stonehenge Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, west of Amesbury. It consists of an outer ring of vertical sarsen standing stones, each around high, wide, and weighing around 25 tons, topped by connecting ho ...

Stonehenge
*
Tekufah Tekufot (Hebrew: תקופות, singular: tekufah, literally, "turn" or "cycle") are the four seasons of the year recognized by Talmud writers. According to Samuel Yarḥinai, each tekufah marks the beginning of a period of 91 days 7½ hours. The f ...
* ''
Xiazhi The traditional Chinese calendar The traditional Chinese calendar (officially known as the Agricultural Calendar [], Former Calendar [], Traditional Calendar [] or Yin Calendar []), is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years, months an ...
'' (Summer solstice in Chinese culture)


References


External links


Table of dates/times from 1600–2400
{{DEFAULTSORT:Summer solstice Time in astronomy International observances
solstice A solstice is an event that occurs when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere In astronomy and navigation, the celestial sphere is an abstraction, abstr ...
de:Sonnenwende#Sommersonnenwende