Wednesday, June 21, 2023 / by Jennifer Taylor
The Year’s Longest Day
The Summer Solstice is the day with the longest period of sunlight. Notice how the Sun appears highest in the sky at the solstice; its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer. The June solstice occurs on Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at 10:58 A.M. EDT.
Celebrating the Solstice
1. Go strawberry picking. Enjoy a big bowl of strawberries and cream on the solstice.
Indulging in some strawberries and cream is the perfect way to celebrate the June solstice, since June’s full Moon is also known as the Strawberry Moon. It typically coincided with the ripening of strawberries, in many states, this is the perfect time to go strawberry picking!
2. Have a solstice evening bonfire!
A common way to celebrate is to have a bonfire party! In the Austrian state of Tyrol, torches and bonfires are lit up on mountainsides, which is a stunningly beautiful sight.
According to ancient Latvian legend, Midsummer’s Eve (St. John’s Eve) on June 23 is spent awake by the glow of a bonfire and in pursuit of a magical fern flower—said to bring good luck—before cleansing one’s face in the morning dew.
What Is the Summer Solstice?
In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice (aka summer solstice) occurs when the Sun reaches its highest and northernmost points in the sky. It marks the start of summer in the northern half of the globe.
The word “solstice” comes from the Latin solstitium—from sol (Sun) and stitium (still or stopped). Due to Earth’s tilted axis, the Sun doesn’t rise and set at the same locations on the horizon each morning and evening; its rise and set positions move northward or southward in the sky as Earth travels around the Sun through the year. The June solstice is significant because the Sun reaches its northernmost point in the sky at this time, at which point the Sun’s path does not change for a brief period of time.
After the solstice, the Sun appears to reverse course and head back in the opposite direction. The motion referred to here is the apparent path of the Sun when one views its position in the sky at the same time each day, for example, at local noon. Over the year, its path forms a sort of flattened figure eight, called an analemma. Of course, the Sun itself is not moving (unless you consider its orbit around the Milky Way galaxy); instead, this change in position in the sky that we on Earth notice is caused by the tilt of Earth’s axis as it orbits the Sun, as well as Earth’s elliptical, rather than circular, orbit.
On a related note, the Summer Solstice is also a great time to consider buying or selling real estate. As the start of summer, this time of year typically sees an increase in market activity, with more homes for sale and more buyers looking to make a move. If you're considering buying or selling, now could be the perfect time to take advantage of this busy market. Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or would like to discuss your options. We're always here to help!
Elissa, Staci, Lacey & Jennifer