credits: Stephanie Pino
Ah, summer! The season of pleasure. Surfing, swimming, travelling, relaxing, and lazy days in the sun arrives today, Monday, June 20, for the Northern Hemisphere.
Today marks the beginning of the year’s sweetest season, a time of hot days, short nights, and soaking up the sun: the Summer Solstice. I love it! People love it !
June solstice is the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the Winter Solstice the Southern Hemisphere. The date varies between June 20 and June 22. This year, 2016, the summer solstice enters today at 10.34pm. It rise at 4.45am.
- What is Summer solstice?
It’s an astronomical event that creates the longest day of the year in one of the two hemispheres.
Today, the Earth’s northern half will be bathed in light for the greatest percentage of a single day. Giving us all a good excuse to stay outside for another hour. Or two. Or until the fireflies come out!
Speaking on traditions, here some about summer solstice.
Summer solstice, also called 'midsummer', has long been recognized and often celebrated by many cultures.
Summer solstice links to many ancient cultural practices as different cultures have celebrated it being symbolic of renewal, fertility and harvest.
Egyptians built the Great Pyramids so that the sun, when viewed from the Sphinx, sets precisely between two of the pyramids on the summer solstice.
Summer solstice/ Stonehenge 2016
The Inca of South America celebrated the corresponding winter solstice with a ceremony called Inti Raymi, which included food offerings and sacrifices of animals, and maybe even people. Not on the photo above. Here some people chose to adorn with flamboyant Aztec costumes, along with smartphones.
Archaeologists have also discovered the remains of an astronomical observatory in a long-buried Maya city in Guatemala, in which the buildings were designed to align with the sun during the solstices. During such times, the city's populace gathered at the observatory to watch as their king appeared to command the heavens.
So teachers can't enjoy this rare event with their students. May be after summer holidays they will be curious and ask you for some information about 'strawberry moon' and summer solstice that some of them, the younger one, will watch again here to 70 years?
However teachers can discuss this awesome event teaching winter solstice in December 2016.
"Astronomy has been important to people for thousands of years. The ancient construction known as Stonehenge in England may have been designed, among other purposes, to pay special honor to the solstices and equinoxes. These are the times and locations during Earth's journey around the Sun that we humans have long used to mark our seasons."
Curricula: Cross-curricular: Geography; History; Sciences; Languages (traditions, literature).
Level : All levels.
Teachers will consider the activities to every level or curriculum they are teaching.
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Education : Summer solstice & the 'Strawberry Moon' by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License