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Summer solstice

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Summer solstice

The summer solstice (or estival solstice), also known as midsummer, occurs when a planet's rotational axis, in either northern or southern hemispheres, is most inclined toward the star that it orbits. Earth's maximum axial tilt toward the Sun is 23° 26′. This happens twice each year (once in each hemisphere), at which times the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from the north or the south pole.


The summer solstice occurs during the hemisphere's summer. This is the northern solstice in the northern hemisphere and the southern solstice in the southern hemisphere. Depending on the shift of the calendar, the summer solstice occurs some time between June 20 and June 22 in the northern hemisphere and between December 20 and December 23 each year in the southern hemisphere. The same dates in the opposite hemisphere are referred to as the winter solstice.

When on a geographic pole, the Sun reaches its greatest height at the moment of solstice. It can be noon only along that longitude which at that moment lies in the direction of the Sun from the pole. For other longitudes, it is not noon. Noon has either passed or has yet to come. Hence the notion of a solstice day is useful. The term is colloquially used like "midsummer" to refer to the day on which solstice occurs. The summer solstice day has the longest period of daylight – except in the polar regions, where daylight is continuous, from a few days to six months around the summer solstice.

2016 was the first time in nearly 70 years that a full moon and the Northern Hemisphere's summer solstice concur on the same day. The 2016 summer solstice's full moon rose just as the Sun set.

Worldwide, interpretation of the event has varied among cultures, but most recognize the event in some way with holidays, festivals, and rituals around that time with themes of religion or fertility. In some regions, the summer solstice is seen as the beginning of summer and the end of spring. In other cultural conventions, the solstice is closer to the middle of summer.

Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).


  • Day of Private Reflection (Northern Ireland)
  • Fremont Solstice Parade (Fremont, Seattle, Washington, United States)
  • Guru Purnima (India)
  • Christmas typically marks the end of the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere.
  • International Surfing Day
  • International Yoga Day
  • Juhannus (Finland)
  • Midsummer
  • National Aboriginal Day (Canada)
  • Tiregān (Iran)
  • World Music Day
  • World Giraffe Day
  • Winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere

  • Inti Raymi, Machu Picchu, Peru
  • We Tripantu, (Mapuche, southern Chile)
  • Willkakuti, an Andean-Amazonic New Year (Aymara)
  • Length of the day on the summer solstice of the north

    The following tables contain information on the length of the day on the summer solstice of the northern hemisphere and winter solstice of the southern hemisphere (i.e. June solstice). The data was collected from the website of the Finnish Meteorological Institute on 20 June 2016 as well as from certain other websites.

    The data is arranged geographically and within the tables from the longest day to the shortest one.


    Summer solstice Wikipedia

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