What is it?
The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. It’s the day when there are the most hours of sunlight.
The name comes from the Latin solstitium meaning ‘sun stands still’.
It happens because the sun heading north, stops at the Tropic of Cancer before returning Southwards.
When is it?
It can fall on different dates depending from year to year, either 20th, 21st or 22nd June.
This year it’s taking place on Sunday 21st June.
The sun is expected to rise at 4:25am.
Why is it significant?
The summer solstice is a special day for many as it means the start of the summer.
It has links to many ancient cultural practices as different cultures have celebrated it being symbolic of renewal, fertility and harvest.
How to celebrate it?
Every year, hundreds of pagans and non-pagans congregate at Stonehenge to see the sun rise in the morning and welcome in the summer.
Some pagans and druids perform a fire ritual to celebrate the occasion. This involves people with unlit candles forming a circle around a large lit central candle and lighting theirs off it one at a time.
In Sweden, it’s traditional to eat your way through the entire day. Feasts typically involve lots of potatoes and herring.
Some also the day as the Festival of Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light.Reuse content