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Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice 1024 683 LA County Library

Summer Solstice

Here Comes the Sun!

Summer is here! Coinciding with Father’s Day this year, the summer solstice falls on June 20th. It is not actually a day, but a single moment in time. Here in North America, it is the moment when the North Pole points most directly toward the sun, when the sun is at the highest and farthest in the sky, and this marks the onset of summer. Sol is the word for the sun in Latin and sistere means to “come to a stand still.” To people who would watch the sun across the sky long ago, the sun seemed to pause before it continued on its course. Take a moment to yourself to pause from your busy schedule this day. Stop and notice your shadow at noon at its shortest all year. Check it out!

Different cultures have celebrated the solstice in different ways since ancient times, the rituals centered around the sun and associated with light and fertility. Thousands of people flock to Stonehenge each year to watch the summer solstice sunrise and the first rays shine directly into its heart. For ancient Greeks, it would start the new year and the countdown toward the Olympics. The Sioux, along with other First Nations people, celebrated with a ritual sun dance. In China, it is a custom to taste noodles. In Ukraine, Poland, and Russia, young men jump over bonfires to demonstrate their bravery and strength.

How will you celebrate the summer solstice?

Here are some ideas:

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