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Published on June 18th, 2013 | by James Ayre

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Summer Solstice 2013 — Midsummer Begins June 21 2013

June 18th, 2013 by

The longest day of the year — the summer solstice — is almost here. On June 21 2013, at exactly 1:04 am EDT (5:04 UTC), the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth will reach its point of greatest inclination to the Sun. The term ‘summer solstice’ generally refers to the exact moment in time when this occurs, but also to the day. The day, and also the general period in time, are also referred to as midsummer. The summer solstice is an important holiday in much of the Northern Hemisphere, and was very important to many ancient cultures.

Image Credit: Midsummer Bonfire via Wikimedia Commons

Image Credit: Midsummer Bonfire via Wikimedia Commons

While the cultural symbols associated with the summer solstice of course vary significantly between different cultures — the solstice was invariably an important time. The general themes that seem to have been associated with it are fertility, fire, celebration, healing, and magic. Many of the celebrations seem to have been accompanied by large bonfires (especially on shorelines), feasting, singing, dancing, and the gathering of medicinal/magic plants.

The solstice was/is thought to be the time “when the forces of nature are at their most powerful, and the boundaries between the physical and spiritual worlds are thinnest.” The term used in modern times — solstice — is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

Image Credit: Breisgau Summer Solstice via Wikimedia Commons

Image Credit: Breisgau Summer Solstice via Wikimedia Commons


Some of the other names that the summer solstice goes by are: Adonia, St. John’s Feast Day, Līgo, Liða, Midsommar, Ivan Kupala Day, Juhannus, Alban Hefin, Gŵyl Ganol yr Haf, Sankthans, Jaanipäev, Keskikesä, and Rasos.

A final note — those in many of the world’s more northerly regions will have the good fortune to celebrate the solstice with a full 24 hours of daylight. And even in regions that aren’t quite northern enough to get a full 24 hours of daylight, the extremely long twilights are quite nice. Enjoy. :)

Image Credit: Cornish Hilltop Fire via Wikimedia Commons

Image Credit: Cornish Hilltop Fire via Wikimedia Commons

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.



  • wizardgynoid

    The Summer Solstice 2013 is not on June 21st in the Mountain, Pacific and Hawaii Time Zones of the USA. There the Summer Solstice is on the evening, before midnight, of June 20th. You got this wrong on the Vernal Equinox last year as well. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/google-has-the-incorrect-date-of-the-summer-solstice-2013

    • james

      The author did get it right. He said the solstice is at 1:04 am June 21 eastern daylight time. He didn’t not go into detail regarding other timeline in the US. Logic and a little math will tell you what time the solstice will be in other time zones. On the west coast, it will be at 10:04 pm June 20.

      • wizardgynoid

        The headline is misleading, incomplete and incorrect. Google has now corrected their error. Accept it.

  • wizardgynoid

    The Summer Solstice 2013 is not on June 21st in the Mountain, Pacific and Hawaii Time Zones of the USA. There the Summer Solstice is on the evening, before midnight, of June 20th. You got this wrong on the Vernal Equinox last year as well. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/google-has-the-incorrect-date-of-the-summer-solstice-2013

    • BigWest

      The author did get it right. He said the solstice is at 1:04 am June 21 eastern daylight time. He didn’t not go into detail regarding other timeline in the US. Logic and a little math will tell you what time the solstice will be in other time zones. On the west coast, it will be at 10:04 pm June 20.

      • wizardgynoid

        The headline is misleading, incomplete and incorrect. Google has now corrected their error. Accept it.

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