June 21, 2016
The Summer Solstice and the ‘Strawberry Moon’
It was the longest day of the year yesterday, which is commonly known as the Summer Solstice. The name comes from the Latin ‘solstitium’, meaning “sun stands still”, as we enjoy approximately a whole 17 hours of light!
The Summer Solstice can fall on slightly different dates each year, but it is generally between 20th – 22nd June in the Northern Hemisphere. This year, it fell on Monday 20th June, when the sun rose at 4.45am and set at 10.34pm!
This year, we also enjoyed a rare ‘Strawberry Moon’! Nope, it didn’t turn into a strawberry (or cheese for that matter), nor was it particularly red… but it did glow a slight amber colour. The term ‘Strawberry Moon’ was first coined by the early Algonquin Tribes of North America to signify the beginning of the strawberry picking season! The ‘Strawberry Moon’ and Summer Solstice coincide just once every 70 years!
So, why does the Summer Solstice happen?
We receive more daylight and (supposedly!) heat during the Summer, as this is the season in which the Earth‘s axis is tilted furthest towards to Sun. The longest day occurs when the Earth is at its most inclined point; the more exposure Earth gets to the Sun, the more hours of daylight! This marks the middle of Summer (even if it may not feel like it!).
Likewise, the Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, as this is the day in which the Earth is most tilted away from the Sun, hence, the Northern Hemisphere receives the least amount of daylight. This year it will occur on 21st December.
So, what has Stonehenge got to do with it?
Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, is an ancient prehistoric site, which has been a place of pagan worship for approximately 4,000 years! On the morning of the Summer Solstice, it is said that the stones all align with each other and the rising Sun to the North East. Many people gather here on this day to celebrate and enjoy the long hours of daylight.
So, that’s it for another year, but fingers crossed we’ll still get a Summer yet!!
Love, Aimee and the One Day Team x