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  Weekly Feature (June 25, 2006)

Summer Solstice: June 21, 2006


At this time of year, we are fortunate to have many hours of daylight. The Sun rises earlier in the morning and sets later at night. Because it gets dark so late, we can enjoy the warm summer evenings outside playing sports, barbecuing, gardening, going to the park, or just relaxing with family and friends. Why do we have such long days in June?

June 21 is the first day of summer. Last week, on June 21, we experienced the longest day of the year, which is also called the summer solstice. At this time, the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky. The word solstice comes from Latin, and its meaning is “the sun stands still.”

Since we live in the northern hemisphere, when the North Pole of the Earth points toward the Sun, we receive more sunlight, and it is summer. As the Earth moves in its orbit, the North Pole points away from the Sun. Then in December, we have the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year.

June 21 is also Canada’s National Aboriginal Day. Aboriginal peoples celebrate their culture and heritage on the longest day of the year.

Canada's National Aboriginal Day

More on National Aboriginal Day

Here are some Websites where you can read more about the summer solstice.

Windows to the Universe The Summer Solstice:
Read a short scientific explanation about the longest day of the year.

Summer Solstice Celebrations: Ancient and Modern
Find out how people around the world have celebrated the summer solstice in the past and present.

Summer Solstice
Discover interesting details about the significance of the summer solstice.

Try these quizzes on the summer solstice and the seasons.

 Seasons Long

 Good Day Sunshine: Summer Solstice Quiz

 BBC Summer Solstice Quiz


Visit Last Week's Feature:

Reflections of Fatherhood on Father's Day

Weekly Feature Index
(Includes all 2002 to date Weekly Features with descriptions)


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