The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, a day falling around late June when there are approximately 17 hours of light.
In the northern hemisphere this means the days begin to get shorter.
The name comes from the Latin solstitium meaning “sun stands still”. It happens because the sun stops heading north at the Tropic of Cancer and then returns back southwards.
What is the Strawberry Moon?
It is a full moon, which occurs in June, named by early Native American tribes. It is a full moon like any other, but marks the beginning of the strawberry season. The two events coincide once every 70 years.
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The summer solstice is a special day for many as it means the start of the summer.
It has links to many ancient cultural practices as different cultures have celebrated it being symbolic of renewal, fertility and harvest.
Why is Stonehenge significant for the solstice?
Stonehenge in Wiltshire is the most popular place in the UK to celebrate the longest day because the prehistoric monument aligns to the solstices. The rising sun only reaches the middle of the stones one day of the year when it shines on the central alter.
But 2016 is a special year, because the solstice coincides with the Strawberry Moon, a once-in-a-lifetime occurence.
Summer Solstice 2016: When is the longest day of the year? What is the ‘Strawberry Moon’?
This year’s solstice coincides with the Strawberry Moon – a once-in-a-lifetime occurence
Peter Yeung, Siobhan Fenton
June 19, 2016