When is the Summer Solstice 2022 and the exact time? The first day of summer and meaning of it

·3-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

As the days draw out, and the sun finally peeps through the British clouds, we are now just a day away from the middle of the year, as well as the Summer Solstice celebrations.

The Solstice is traditionally a very special and spiritual day for many cultures, and they occur around the same time around the world. They traditionally mark the beginning of summer.

Here’s when it falls this year, what a solstice is, and why it’s significant.

What is the Summer Solstice?

 (PA)
(PA)

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and refers to the moment that the sun travels the longest path through the sky, meaning that day has the most daylight.

The exact time of the solstice is the time of year that the Earth is closest to the sun.

According to the astronomical definition of the seasons, the summer solstice also marks the beginning of summer, which then lasts until the Autumnal Equinox.

Under the meteorological definition, which splits the year into four seasons of three full months each based on the Gregorian calendar, winter starts on 1 December every year, and summer starts on 1 June.

When is the Summer solstice 2022?

 (PA)
(PA)

The Summer Solstice will fall on June 21, 2022.

It most commonly falls on this date, but can also be anywhere between 20-22 of June.

This year, it will fall at exactly 10:13 am in the United Kingdom.

What is the meaning of the Summer Solstice?

The Summer Solstice has a whole range of meanings, and since prehistory, it has been seen as significant and marked by festivals and rituals.

The day is particularly important for druids or pagans, who gather at Stone Henge to celebrate it each year.

At Stonehenge on the Summer Solstice, the sun rises behind the heel stone in the northeast part of the horizon, then, its first rays shine onto Stonehenge.

English Heritage says: “Marking the movements of the sun was clearly important to the people who built Stonehenge, as they went to such enormous effort to carefully line up the monument.

“However, there is very little evidence as to what ceremonies might have taken place here; there are few clues from excavations within the stone circle seems to have been kept clean and separate from everyday debris.

“We can imagine that people gathered at the monument to celebrate the midsummer and the midwinter, although only a few people would have been able to directly observe the important alignment.”

What is a Solstice?

The Earth isn’t the only planet to experience a solstice
The Earth isn’t the only planet to experience a solstice

Solstices occur because the earth’s axis of rotation is tilted about 23.4 degrees relative to the earth’s rotation around the Sun.

The tilt gives the planet seasons, as the Northern and Southern Hemispheres get unequal amounts of sunlight over the course of the year.

From March to September, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted more towards the sun, driving the Spring and Summer.

On two moments each year, the Earth’s axis are tilted most closely towards the Sun.

Earth isn’t the only planet with solstices and equinoxes, any other planet with a rotational axis would see them, too.

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