Folks over at the northern hemisphere are about to experience the longest day of the year. June 21 paves the way for the summer solstice, officially kicking off the astrological sunny season.
Summer solstice, which takes place when the sun is at its highest point above the Tropic of Cancer, begins at exactly 12:24 a.m. ET today in New York.
This means that the Big Apple can bask in the sun for a little over 15 hours. On the west coast of the United States, the summer solstice begins much earlier — June 20 at 9:24 p.m.
The farther north the region, the longer the daylight will be. This means that summer solstice in the North Pole will be 24 hours-long, the phenomenon being dubbed as "the midnight sun."
According to Independent, solstice is derived from the Latin word solstitium, which means stopping or standing still of the sun. June 21 will be the first day of summer.
The summer solstice is associated with various rituals mostly involving fertility, growth and light. The most notable is how pagans use it as an indicator for planting harvesting crops.
Alternatively, those in the southern hemisphere being on the opposite region will experience the longest night of the year on June 21. Summer solstice in this part of the planet begins Dec. 21 instead.
Summer solstice is a cause for celebration with the Stonehenge as the primary go-to to delight in the start of summertime. This is because the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England is believed to have been built to mark the movement of the sun.
During the summer solstice, the heel stone and slaughter stones of the ancient temple will align perfectly with the sunrise, a view that many flock to see.
To push the boat out, spectators will hold a festival of music and dancing with a bit of drumming and camping. There will be increased security this year at the Stonehenge summer solstice experience following the attacks in Manchester and London.
Of course, there are various ways of celebrating the summer solstice. As per NJ.com, folks in Russia and Ukraine like to leap over the flames in a "ritual test of bravery and faith."
Europe calls the event St. John's Day commemorated through bonfires and dancing. In Scandinavia, the summer solstice revelries include a lot of vodka, herring as well as singing and dancing around the maypole.