This Saturday, June 21st at exactly 6:51 am will mark the first day of summer, 2014. It is also the longest day of the year. We have been celebrating this day for thousands of years under many different names including summer solstice. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the word solstice comes from the Latin words sol, meaning “sun”, and stitium, meaning “to stop”.
Before the times of powerful telescopes and modern meteorology, early humans saw what appeared to be the sun stopping in time. After the start of the summer season, the sun remains higher and longer in the sky throughout the day, shining its rays at a more direct angle. This is why the summer months are so hot!
Celebrations of this significant part of the year have been taking place for thousands of years with many different religious traditions. According to Maria Konnikova’s blog post on ScientificAmerican.com, in ancient Greece, the summer solstice would mark the start of a new year, it would be a time to celebrate their god Cronus, the patron of agriculture and a time to begin the month-long countdown to the Olympics. In ancient Rome, this day marked the start of the festival of Vestalia, the goddess of hearth and home.
Catch Tar Heel Basement Systems this Saturday at the Greensboro Summer Solstice Festival located at the Arboretum. It runs 2 pm to 10 pm and will prove to be a fun-filled event for the entire family. Stop by, say “Hi!” and sign up for a free, no obligation in-home estimate.
Image Credit: Stonehenge 2013 sunrise: Stonehenge Stone Circle, Flickr.