For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, June 21 is the longest day of the year. The day is also known as ‘Summer Solstice’ meaning the longest day of the summer season. Since the Earth rotates on the axis, the North of the Equator receives more direct sunlight between the month of March and September, hence Summer is experienced during the time.
June 21 is the longest day of the year. This is also called as the summer solstice.
What is the summer solstice?
The summer solstice is the day when Sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight.
Due to the tilt of the Earth on its axis, the North Pole is shifted almost directly toward the Sun, hence this brings the long hours of daylight.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the solstice occurs between June 20 and June 22. In the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs on December 21 or 22.
The word solstice is derived from the Latin word sol which means Sun and sistere which means to stand still, because, at the solstices, the Sun's declination appears to "standstill" that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun's daily path pauses at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction.
The term solstice can also be used in a broader sense, as the day when this occurs. The day of the solstice in either hemisphere has either the most sunlight of the year (summer solstice) or the least sunlight of the year (winter solstice) for any place other than the Equator.
Alternative terms with no ambiguity as to which hemisphere is the context are "June solstice" and "December solstice".
The significance given to the summer solstice has varied among cultures, but most recognise the event in some way with holidays, festivals and rituals around that time with themes of religion or fertility.