Longest Day of the Year is known as the Summer Solstice. This year the day is falling on Monday, June 21. This astronomical day is usually marked between June 20 and June 22. The Summer Solstice is also known as the midsummer or Estival solstice. The term solstice is a Latin word derived from two words ‘sol’ meaning the sun and ‘sistere’ meaning to stand still.
Summer Solstice is observed on the day when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer at noon. Summer starts from this day and goes on until equinox. The day occurs when the North Pole is tilted about 23.4 degrees towards the sun. In this particular position, the vertical noon rays are directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer. The solstice occurs twice each year. The first happens in June and the second one takes place in December. The solstice that occurs in December is called the Winter Solstice.
The Northern Hemisphere of the Earth gets an increased amount of sunlight from March to September. As a result, those who stay in the Northern Hemisphere experience summer during this period of time. At the time of solstice Earth’s axis is tilted in a manner that the North Pole is tipped towards the sun. As per National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Earth gets 30% more energy from the sun on the North Pole in comparison to the Equator on this day.
The sunlight that a particular area will get in the Northern Hemisphere will be dependent on the latitudinal location of the place.
The day also has a lot of relevance otherwise as well since many countries associate it with different things like religion, fertility etc. In ancient China the day was meant to be dedicated to yin forces and femininity. The world’s biggest solstice event can be witnessed at Stonehenge in Wiltshire. In countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, the day is considered to be a time of midsummer night festivities.