One of the best parts of summer, by far, is how late the sun sets. It makes you feel like there is so much more time in the day to get things done, see people, and just live your best life. Why do we celebrate the summer solstice? The extra long day only comes once a year, so you should probably take the time to celebrate it properly. Because once this day is over, we inch closer and closer to those dark and dreary winter days. The ones that cover the world in mucky misery at 4 p.m., and make you want to hibernate like a bear. And those are a monumental drag, no matter how much you love snow.
I used to think that this holiday was nothing more than a day to time the sun. I mean, sure, a late sunset is cool and all, but isn't it kind of like watching paint dry? I was wrong. So wrong. The summer solstice is an incredibly cool holiday, with science and history and a freaking strawberry moon — but more on that in a minute.
Take some time to honor the summer solstice properly, because it's seriously quite rad. Here are all the super cool reasons why we celebrate the summer solstice.
1. Summer Has Officially Arrived
You may know of the summer solstice more simply as the first day of summer. The season arrived in all of our minds over Memorial Day weekend, but this is technically the first day of the summer season.
2. It's the Longest Day of the Year
No matter where you are, this will be the longest day of the year. But the number of hours during which you'll get sunshine will vary. The closer you live to the Arctic circle, the more hours of sunlight you'll get. So folks in the Southern states will get anywhere from 13 to 15 hours, while residents of Fairbanks, Alaska will get blasted with sunlight for a full 24 hours.
3. Because, Science
So, our big beautiful Earth orbits around the sun on a tilted axis. And during the warmer months, there's more exposure to direct sunlight during the Earth's orbit. The summer solstice technically occurs when the sun is 23.5 degrees north latitude, and this year, that will take place at 6:34 p.m. EST.
4. There's a Connection to Stonehenge
Stonehenge is the place to be for the summer solstice. (If you're not there now, maybe plan for next year.) People love it because it's the one day a year that the sun reaches the middle of the stones and shines on the central altar.
5. There Will Be a Strawberry Moon
It's not a moon that's bright red, or shaped like a strawberry. The summer solstice strawberry moon is a full moon during the month of June. This name originated from Native Americans, who picked strawberries during the month of June. But the strawberry moon falling on the summer solstice hasn't happened in 70 years. You will not see this again, so be sure to see it tonight.
6. Because it's Fun
If you don't care so much for all the cool stuff above, then at least celebrate the summer solstice because it makes you feel young again. When the sun takes forever to set, it feels like the day will last forever, and then you think that maybe it will. And maybe you're gonna live forever. So get wild, BB.
Image: Wendy Laurel/Stocksy; Giphy (6)