On Monday, June 21, the Northern Hemisphere will experience its longest day of the year. Also known as the Summer Solstice, June 21 will mark the astronomical start of summer and is a pagan celebration.
How long is the longest day of the year?
The Summer Solstice falls on Monday, June 21 and the UK will enjoy 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight.
On Monday, the Sun will rise at 4.52am BST and set at 9.26pm BST.
This marks the astronomical start of summer, and days will slowly grow shorter for the rest of the year.
During the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone in the northeast part of the horizon.
This means the first rays of the day shine into the heart of Stonehenge.
How is the Summer Solstice celebrated?
One famous celebration of the Summer Solstice takes place at Wiltshire’s ancient monument – Stonehenge.
In Fairbanks, Alaska a Midnight Sun Festival is held each year.
You can watch a midnight sun baseball game and visit a twelve-hour street fair and watch live music from over 30 acts.
In Reykjavik, Iceland the Secret Solstice Festival takes place each year.
Now not so secret, the festival, unfortunately, has faced upheaval over the past few years due to the pandemic.
In Sweden, Midsommar Festivals are held across the country.
These typically involve Swedes heading to the countryside where Maypoles are decorated and traditional dancing held.
In Tyrol, Austria mountaintop bonfires are lit, casting a magical light across the region.
This tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, across a number of locations across the Tyrolian Alps.