A solstice is an event which occurs when the Sun appears to reach its Northern and Southern position on the celestial equator or the imaginary line drawn which divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern hemisphere, on the celestial sphere. These solstices determine the seasons of the year in many countries. The word ‘Sol’ means the Sun and ‘Stice’ means to stand still.
Two solstices occur annually around June 21 and December 21. The day of a solstice in either hemisphere has either the most sufficient sunlight of the year (summer solstice) or the least sunlight of the year ( winter solstice). On Sunday, June 21, 2020, the Sun will shine brighter than any other day of the year.
Summer solstice occurs on June 21 and marks the commencement of the summer season, for people living in the Northern hemisphere. Technically, summer solstice occurs when the Sun is over the Tropic of Cancer or 23.5⁰ North Latitude. On this day, the Sun travels the longest part through the sky and so it experiences the most daylight. Summer Solstice or Estival solstice is also called Mid-summer which occurs during summer.
Winter solstice celebrates the long hours of darkness or the rebirth of the Sun believed to hold powerful energy for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection. Winter solstice is also known as Mid-winter or Dongzhi ( shortest day ) which represents the tilting of one pole of the Earth away from the Sun. It is the shortest period of daylight and longest night of the year, when there is continuous darkness or twilight at one of the poles. Winter solstice occurs during the hemisphere’s winter. In the Northern hemisphere, this is the December solstice usually falling on 21 or 22 December.
Solstice Time And Date
Solstices occur on 20th or 21st June and 21st or 22nd December each year. During June it is Summer solstice in the Northern hemisphere and Winter solstice in the Southern hemisphere. The local time for Summer solstice in 2020 is as follows:
Summer solstice will occur on Sunday, 21st June, 2020 at 03:12 Am
Summer solstice - Sunrise - 05:24 Am, Sunset - 07:22 Pm
Summer solstice Day Duration - 13 hours, 58 minutes and 11 seconds
Solstice Astrological Importance
Since ancient times, solstice is a day celebrated as one of the earliest astronomical observations in human history.Solstice marks the beginning of a new season. There are two equinox (spring and autumn) points each year and two solstice points (summer and winter). They correspond to one of the four Cardinal signs on the zodiac wheel called the Cardinal axis. This axis is astrologically important as it is from where we find powerful angles in a Birth Chart. These angles are points of energy manifestation which trigger major life events. These four Cardinal points also correlate to the four directions - North, South, East and West.
The date of Summer solstice marks the longest day of the year at a point where the Sun stops over the Tropic of Cancer which occurs on June 21 and astrologically coincides with the start of the Cardinal sign Cancer. On the other hand the Winter solstice occurs when the Sun appears to stand at the point of the Tropic of Capricorn which occurs on December 21 and astrologically coincides with the start of the Cardinal zodiac sign Capricorn.
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Longest Day Of The Year
The Northern Hemisphere experiences the longest day of the year always on or around June 21. The day has the Sun’s rays falling perpendicular to the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees 30’ North Latitude. However, the date varies between June 20 and June 22 depending on the year and the local time zone.
The longest day of the year is also known as the Northern Solstice because it occurs when the Sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern hemisphere. Since ancient times, people have been celebrating this day with great fervour as it coincides with many festivals all around the world.
Here are astrological horoscope predictions for zodiac signs to usher new beginnings in the 2020 summer solstice.
Longest Day Of The Year Facts
Some interesting facts about the Longest Day of the Year.
- The longest day of the year or the Summer Solstice always occurs between June 20 and June 22, but as the calendar does not exactly reflect the Earth’s rotation, the precise time shifts each year.
- The name ‘Solstice’ itself means the Sun standing still. This also refers to the Sun’s relative position in the sky at noon not changing much during the solstice and its surrounding days.
- Several cultures around the globe have held celebrations in conjunction with the solstice for hundreds of years. One of the world’s biggest bonfires was part of the Summer solstice celebrations in 2019 by Austrian Carnival festivities.
- Large crowds flock at StoneHenge, an ancient landmark to watch the sunrise on solstice day.
- The summer solstice marks a dark time in the history of Science and Invention as it was during this phase Galileo was forced to spend the rest of his life under house arrest to recant his declaration of the Earth revolving around the Sun.
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Longest Day Of The Year In India
The longest day of the year is a turning point in the lives of people, as it marks the commencement of the summer season after Spring. The day is celebrated as International Yoga Day around the globe especially in India. People observe the day by organizing group or mass Yoga sessions. Yogis or Sadhus from various religious destinations gather in different cities of India and practice Yoga in the summer solstice. This is done to pay homage to the Sun God as the season changes. Yoga is performed to gain strength, love, happiness, and correct past follies.
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With Ganesha’s Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks.com Team