Summer solstice 2018 — here’s what to know about the longest day of the year – National

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It’s the longest day of the yr for individuals within the Northern Hemisphere, inflicting many to mark the summer time solstice with pagan rituals, fireplace dancing and even leaping bare right into a lake.

The occasion may be a bittersweet feeling for a lot of, as after the summer time solstice, the times begin getting shorter.

Neo-pagans amongst 1000’s to greet summer time solstice at Stonehenge

Right here’s all the things it’s worthwhile to know concerning the 2018 summer time solstice and the way individuals all over the world are celebrating.

What’s the summer time solstice?

Following the winter solstice on Dec. 21, the Northern Hemisphere begins to get extra daylight because the earth’s axis begins slowly tilting extra towards the solar.

The summer time solstice occurs when the lean of the Earth’s axis is most inclined in direction of the solar instantly above the Tropic of Most cancers.

WATCH: In 2016 the ‘Strawberry’ moon lit up summer time solstice for first time in 49 years

Through the cosmic occasion, “the solar shines instantly on the Northern Hemisphere and not directly on the Southern Hemisphere,” NASA defined.

The summer time solstice occurs yearly between June 20 and June 22 when the solar reaches its highest stage in North Hemisphere; the precise quantity of daylight varies from metropolis to metropolis, however all locations north of the equator could have at the least 12 hours of daylight.

When is it?

The summer time solstice within the northern hemisphere occurs June 21, and this yr it formally happened at 6:07 am ET.

What does it need to do with Stonehenge?

The aim of Stonehenge, which was constructed round 5,000 years in the past, nonetheless stays a thriller. Nevertheless, there are theories that it was designed to align with the solar, in accordance with Salisbury Stonehenge Excursions. Through the summer time solstice, the solar rises over the construction’s Heel Stone and hit the Alter Stone within the centre.

That is why yearly 1000’s of individuals flock to the prehistoric website to see the solar rise above it.

Thousands of revellers celebrating summer solstice and the dawn of the longest day of the year at Stonehenge this morning on June 21, 2018, in Wiltshire, England.

1000’s of revellers celebrating summer time solstice and the daybreak of the longest day of the yr at Stonehenge this morning on June 21, 2018, in Wiltshire, England.

KIRAN RIDLEY / Barcroft Media through Getty Pictures

Pagan rituals for the summer time solstice

In different components of the world, similar to in Europe, individuals rejoice the occasion with dancing, consuming, consuming and even bare operating.

In Russia and Ukraine, it’s a pagan celebration extra generally often called Ivan Kupala Day, which often takes place shortly after the summer time solstice. Youngsters and younger adults additionally leap over bonfires, holding palms with a possible suitor as a courtship ritual.

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“Should you leap over the fireplace, and a boy and a lady are holding palms they usually’re nonetheless holding palms once they’ve jumped over, they’ll get married,” Natalie Kononenko, a professor and the Kule Chair in Ukrainian Ethnography Arts, on the College of Alberta advised TIME.

Younger girls additionally put on floral wreaths on their heads till in a while within the festivities once they take the headpieces off, mild candles in them and sail them down a stream.

TOPSHOT – Two girls put traditional wreaths near a bonfire as they take part in the Ivan Kupala Night celebration, a traditional Slavic holiday, outside the small town of Turov, some 270 km south of Minsk, on July 6, 2016.

TOPSHOT – Two ladies put conventional wreaths close to a bonfire as they participate within the Ivan Kupala Evening celebration, a conventional Slavic vacation, exterior the small city of Turov, some 270 km south of Minsk, on July 6, 2016.


Scandinavians rejoice certainly one of their most important holidays across the summer time solstice, known as Midsummer, which has roots in pagan rituals involving bonfires, fertility and folks dancing.

Individuals in Austria mild a whole bunch of fires within the Alps, a medieval custom to mark the longest day of the yr.

Austria Lower Austria Scheibbs – mid summer festival on the Blassenstein mountain.

Austria Decrease Austria Scheibbs – mid summer time pageant on the Blassenstein mountain.

Hackenberg/ullstein bild through Getty Pictures

And in Latvia, the summer time solstice custom is to move to the countryside, begin a bonfire and keep up all evening ready for the solar to return up. Girls decide flowers to make into crowns for his or her heads, whereas males are alleged to strip bare and leap into a close-by lake or river, in accordance with the BBC.

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