Summer solstice 2018 greetings: Is today the longest day, what time is sunset? | Life | Life & Style

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The June solstice marks the official start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. 

A solstice occurs when the sun is at its furthest point from the equator. 

The date varies between June 20 and 22, depending on the year and local time zone. 

In the Southern Hemisphere, they experience oppose seasons, so it is the winter solstice. 

Is summer solstice today?

Today, June 21, is summer solstice and in the UK, the exact time of the solstice is 11.07am. 

If you live anywhere near the Arctic Circle, you’re in for 24 hours of sunshine today! 

Tonight, you can enjoy those rays all the way until sunset at 9.21pm. 

The sun will rise at 4.43am tomorrow and set at 9.21 again – albeit three seconds earlier than it will tonight. 

What are summer solstice greetings?

Traditionally, pagan worshippers would wish each other ‘happy solstice’ or ‘happy litha’. 

Litha is the term used by ancient pagans to mark the solstice. 

The word is derived from the Saxon month that corresponds to June and July. 

How is the solstice celebrated? 

In the UK, the prehistoric monument Stonehenge holds special significance for the summer solstice. 

The ring of standing stones, in Wiltshire, England, sees thousands of sun worshippers each year. 

The stones are positioned to align with the sunrise on the two annual solstices, summer and winter. 

If you stand in just the right spot you will see the sun directly above the Heel Stone, which stands just outside the circle to the north-east.

Stonehenge has a festival at the world heritage site, running from June 18 to 21. 

In other countries, different rituals are observed. 

Many European countries have a bonfire while maypole dancing is also a popular ritual to mark the summer solstice. 



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