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Thread: Solstice celebrations?

  1. #31
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    Simon McNeil

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  2. #32
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    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Happy Winter Solstice everyone!

    And thanks for this below, Newsweek. Way to make our days...

    BY CALLUM PATON ON 12/21/17 AT 6:20 AM

    Across a lot of the U.S., and indeed the rest of the northern hemisphere right now, the weather is cold and icy and there is less daylight than at any other times of year, but that isn’t why December 21 will be the worst day of the year.

    The real reason is astrology—the belief that the stars and planets influence events on earth—and if you are having a bad day today, it is Saturn's fault.

    According to the British astrologer Neil Spencer, who writes for the London weekly newspaper the Observer, December 21 is not a day to start new things. Any endeavors you embark upon are likely to be frustrating, time consuming and difficult. They will also have long term consequences.

    This is because in the sky above us the sun will pass in front of the constellation of Capricorn hours after Saturn does the same.

    The sun sets behind the Washington Monument in Washington, DC 20 December, 2017, on the eve of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

    It doesn’t even matter if you try and do nothing. “Patience will not be a priority," another astrology website cited by U.S.A. Today stipulates. Essentially if you refused to carry out a task that is given to you, you’ll be charged with insubordination and rebellion.

    At the same time, Mercury will no longer be in retrograde—which is good—but the shift from this period to the dominance of Capricorn, a sign of power, patriarchy and the law will not be a pleasant, astrologers say.

    Of course, the winter solstice has as much, if not more, to do with astronomy than astrology. The solstice will begin at 11:28 EST on December 21, marking the longest day of the year and the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere. It conversely marks the longest summer day in the southern hemisphere.

    The celebration of the winter solstice in Norse, Celtic, Welsh, Icelandic cultures and for first nation peoples in modern day Canada, was not a gloomy affair. It marked the beginning of the return of spring. From the solstice onwards the days should get longer and the weather fairer.

    The best known winter solstice celebration is held by druids in Wiltshire, England, at the Neolithic Stonehenge monument. Adherents to the ancient celtic religion give thanks to the sun at the solstice for beginning its path towards the spring.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #33
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    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Happy Summer Solstice 2018

    Summer solstice: Traditions around the world
    Daisy Carrington, for CNN • Updated 21st June 2018

    (CNN) — In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice has a history of stirring libidos, and it's no wonder.
    The longest day of the year tends to kick off the start of the summer season and with it, the harvest. So it should come as no surprise that the solstice is linked to fertility -- both of the vegetal and human variety -- in destinations around the world.
    "A lot of children are born nine months after Midsummer in Sweden," says Jan-Öjvind Swahn, a Swedish ethnologist and the author of several books on the subject.
    Midsummer is the Scandinavian holiday celebrating the summer solstice, which this year falls on June 21. Swedish traditions include dancing around a maypole -- a symbol which some view as phallic -- and feasting on herring and copious amounts of vodka.
    "Drinking is the most typical Midsummer tradition. There are historical pictures of people drinking to the point where they can't go on anymore," says Swahn. While the libations have a hand in the subsequent baby boom, Swahn points out that even without the booze, Midsummer is a time rich in romantic ritual.
    "There used to be a tradition among unmarried girls, where if they ate something very salty during Midsummer, or else collected several different kinds of flowers and put these under their pillow when they slept, they would dream of their future husbands," he says.

    Traditions in Greece
    There is a similar mythology about dreaming of one's future spouse in parts of Greece. There, as in many European countries, the pagan solstice got co-opted by Christianity and rebranded as St. John's Day. Still, in many villages in the country's north, the ancient rites are still celebrated.
    One of the oldest rituals is called Klidonas, and it involves local virgins gathering water from the sea. The village's unmarried women all place a personal belonging in the pot and leave it under a fig tree overnight, where -- folklore has it -- the magic of the day imbues the objects with prophetic powers, and the girls in question dream of their future husbands.
    The next day, all the women in the village gather, and take turns pulling out objects and reciting rhyming couplets that are meant to predict the romantic fortunes of the item's owner. These days, however, the festival is more an excuse for the community of women to exchange bawdy jokes.
    "In my village, the older women always seem to come up with the dirtiest rhymes," says Eleni Fanariotou, who has filmed the custom. Later in the day, the sexes mingle and take turns jumping over a bonfire. Anyone who succeeds in jumping over the flames three times is meant to have a wish granted. Fanariotou says the festival often results in coupling.
    "It's a good time to meet someone, because all the young people in the village go, and it's a good opportunity to socialize. Plus, all the men like to show off, and make the biggest fire they can to jump through."
    Eastern Europe traditions
    In Eastern Europe, the solstice celebrations fall on Ivan Kupala Day -- a holiday that has romantic connotations for many Slavs ("kupala" is derived from the same word as "cupid").
    "It was once believed that Kupala night was a time for people to fall in love, and that those celebrating it would be happy and prosperous throughout the year," recalls Agnieszka Bigaj from the Polish tourist board. It used to be that young, unmarried women would float floral wreaths in the river where eager bachelors on the other side would try to catching the flowers. she adds.
    According to Polish folklore, the man and woman in question would become a couple. Bonfires are also a large feature of the holiday, and it's tradition for a couple to leap through the flames together while holding hands -- if they don't let go, it is said their love will last.


    People watch the midsummer sun as it rises over the megalithic monument of Stonehenge.
    Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

    One of the largest solstice celebrations in the world, though, takes place at Stonehenge, in England, where thousands gather each year to bring in the summer season. While for many the event is an excuse to party in the lead up to the Glastonbury Festival, there is also a strong contingent of pagans and neo-druids who treat the day like the ultimate marriage ceremony.
    "All druid rituals have an element of fertility, and the solstice is no exception," says King Arthur Pendragon, a senior archdruid. "We celebrate the union of the male and female deities -- the Sun and the Earth -- on the longest day of the year."
    Anyone doing anything? I'm off to work a reggae festival, like I've done every solstice for years.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  4. #34
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    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    ttt 4 2018!

    Happy Solstice!

    Dec 18, 2018, 12:18pm
    Winter Solstice 2018 Coincides With Both A Full Moon And Meteor Shower

    Trevor Nace

    December's full moon will coincide with the 2018 winter solstice.NASA

    The winter solstice, falling on December 21, 2018, will mark the shortest day of the year as well as a full moon in the night sky. The upcoming full moon named the Cold Moon or the Long Night Moon will be visible during the longest night of the year.

    The two events don't perfectly align. The peak full Moon will occur on December 22 at 12:49 p.m. EST while the winter solstice falls a day earlier on December 21. However, to the typical person viewing the moon, it will appear full for several days.

    The winter solstice marks a transition period where days begin getting longer in the Northern Hemisphere and shorter in the Southern Hemisphere. The evening of the winter solstice will be the longest of the year for the Northern Hemisphere. This is because Earth's poles create a maximum tilt away from the Sun in the Northern Hemisphere and maximum tilt toward the Sun in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Winter solstice occurs in December for the Northern Hemisphere and June for the Southern Hemisphere.WIKIPEDIA

    The four photos above display how the Sun hits Earth on the winter solstice, the summer solstice and the two middle transition points. The tilt of the Earth causes the Northern Hemisphere of Earth to receive less sunlight during the winter solstice than the Southern Hemisphere.

    The 2018 winter solstice will be accompanied by what NASA notes as the Cold Moon or the Long Night Moon. The names originate from the Native Americans, who marked December's full Moon as the beginning of the coldest part of the year. Also, the Long Night Moon is named after the longest night of the year on the winter solstice.

    How often do these events coincide, where the winter solstice is adorned by a full moon? The last time it occurred was in 2010 and the next event will not be until 2094. On December 21 you will also be able to see Mercury and Jupiter in conjunction in the long night sky. On top of all that, the Ursid meteor shower will peak on the nights of December 21 and 22, adding shooting starts to the mix.

    A full moon over Earth captured aboard the International Space Station.NASA

    Don't miss the opportunity to look up into the night sky on this winter solstice and revel in the grandeur of the full moon and the Ursid meteor shower.

    Trevor Nace is a PhD geologist, founder of Science Trends, Forbes contributor, and explorer.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Happy Solstice!

    The summer solstice is here: 9 things to know about the longest day of the year
    Why do we have a summer solstice, anyway?
    By Brian Resnick and Brad Plumer Updated Jun 21, 2019, 8:15am EDT

    “Summmmeerrr!!!” Alexander Spatari/Getty Images

    The summer solstice is upon us: Friday, June 21 is the longest day of 2019, and the start of the summer season, for anyone living north of the equator. Google is marking the day with a Google Doodle. If pagan rituals are your thing, this is probably a big moment for you. If not, the solstice is still pretty neat.

    Technically speaking, the summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, or 23.5 degrees north latitude. This will occur at exactly 11:54 am Eastern on Friday the 21st.

    Below is a short scientific guide to the longest day of the year. (Though not, as we’ll see, the longest day in Earth’s history — that happened back in 1912.)

    1) Why do we have a summer solstice, anyway?

    Okay, most people know this one. Earth orbits around the sun on a tilted axis. (Probably because our planet collided with some other massive object billions of years ago, back when it was still being formed.)

    So between March and September, Earth’s Northern Hemisphere gets more exposure to direct sunlight over the course of a day. The rest of the year, the Southern Hemisphere gets more. It’s why we have seasons.


    In the Northern Hemisphere, “peak” sunlight usually occurs on June 20, 21, or 22 of any given year. That’s the summer solstice. By contrast, the Southern Hemisphere reaches peak sunlight on December 21, 22, or 23 and the Northern hits peak darkness — that’s our winter solstice.


    2) How many hours of sunlight will I get on the 21st?

    That depends on where you live. The ****her north you are, the more sunlight you’ll see during the solstice. Alaska-based climatologist Brian Brettschneider created this terrific guide:

    On the chance you live near the Arctic Circle, the sun never really sets during the solstice.

    Here’s another cool way to visualize the extreme of the summer solstice. In 2013, a resident of Alberta, Canada — several hundred miles south of Fairbanks but still in a high latitude — took this pinhole camera photograph of the sun’s path throughout the year and shared it with the astronomy website EarthSky. You can see the dramatic change in the arc of the sun from December to June. (You can easily make a similar image at home. All you need is a can, photo paper, some tape, and a pin. Instructions here.)

    Note that the solstice also gives us the longest twilight of the year, usually about one to one and a half extra hours after sunset. (Brettschneider has more charts on that; his entire post is worth your time.)

    3) Is the solstice the latest sunset of the year?

    Not necessarily. Just because June 21 is the longest day of the year for the Northern Hemisphere doesn’t mean every location has its earliest sunrise or latest sunset on that day.

    If you live in Washington, DC, the latest sunsets will start on the day after the solstice, the 22nd. If you like sleeping in, that’s arguably the most exciting day of the summer. can tell you when the latest sunset will occur in your area.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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  6. #36
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    Continued from previous post

    4) What does all this have to do with Stonehenge?

    No one really knows why Stonehenge was built some 5,000 years ago (at least we don’t, sorry). But one possibility is that it was used to mark solstices and equinoxes. That’s because during the summer solstice, the sun rises just over the structure’s Heel Stone and hits the Altar Stone dead center.

    Here’s a graphic from NASA imagining what a summer solstice sunrise might’ve looked like back when Stonehenge was fully intact:


    Nowadays, humans still gather to pay homage to the summer solstice at Stonehenge — they just use modern technology, like so:

    Tim Ireland/Getty Images

    People at Stonehenge on the solstices know how to throw a party. Here’s an image from a recent winter solstice at the site.

    Matt Cardy/Getty Images

    5) Is this the longest day in Earth’s entire history?

    Probably not, although it’s close. And the reason why is quite interesting. Joseph Stromberg did a fantastic deep dive into this topic for Vox a few years back, but here’s the two-minute version.

    Ever since the Earth has had liquid oceans and a moon, its rotation has been gradually slowing over time due to tidal friction. That means that over very, very long periods of time, the days have been getting steadily longer. About 4.5 billion years ago, it took Earth just six hours to complete one rotation. About 350 million years ago, it took 23 hours. Today, of course, it takes about 24 hours. And the days will gradually get longer still.

    Given that, you’d think 2018 would be the longest day in all of history. But while it’s certainly up there, it doesn’t quite take top honors.

    That’s because tidal friction isn’t the only thing affecting Earth’s rotation; there are a few countervailing factors. The melting of glacial ice, which has been occurring since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago (and is now ramping up because of global warming), is actually speeding up Earth’s rotation very slightly, shortening the days by a few fractions of a millisecond. Likewise, geologic activity in the planet’s core, earthquakes, ocean currents, and seasonal wind changes can also speed up or slow down Earth’s rotation.

    When you put all these factors together, scientists have estimated that the longest day in Earth’s history (so far) likely occurred back in 1912. That year’s summer solstice was the longest period of daylight the Northern Hemisphere has ever seen (and, conversely, the 1912 winter solstice was the longest night we’ve ever seen).

    Eventually, the effects of tidal friction should overcome all those other factors, and Earth’s days will get longer and longer as its rotation keeps slowing (forcing timekeepers to add leap seconds to the calendar periodically). Which means that in the future, there will be plenty of summer solstices that set new records as the “longest day in Earth’s history.”

    6) Do I need to wear sunscreen?

    Yes, you should, though, as Vox’s Julia Belluz has reported, the research on whether sunscreen actually helps prevent the more aggressive form of skin cancer is lacking. As she writes:

    The US Preventive Services Task Force summed up the evidence on the health effects of sunscreen use ... [and] found that sunscreen reduced the incidence of squamous cell cancer, but that it had no effect on basal cell cancer. What’s more, “There are no direct data about the effect of sunscreen on melanoma incidence.”
    Still, research is always evolving and newer studies are emerging that show sunscreen can curb melanoma risk, such as this long-term trial from Australia.

    That said, it does, definitely help prevent sunburn, which is unpleasant. For more on the science of sunscreen, read Belluz’s explainer.

    7) Are there solstices on other planets?

    Yes! All the planets in our solar system rotate on a tilted axis and therefore have seasons, solstices, and equinoxes. Some of these tilts are minor (like Mercury, which is tilted at 2.11 degrees). But others are more like the Earth (23.5 degrees) or are even more extreme (Uranus is tilted 98 degrees!).

    Below, see a beautiful composite image of Saturn on its equinox captured by the Cassini spacecraft (RIP) in 2009. The gas giant is tilted 27 degrees relative to the sun, and equinoxes on the planet are less frequent than on Earth. Saturn only sees an equinox about once every 15 years (because it takes Saturn 29 years to complete one orbit around the sun).

    Cassini Imaging Team/NASA

    8) I heard there was a solar eclipse happening this summer

    You heard correct! There will be a solar eclipse on July 2. And if you’re in Chile or Argentina, (or in the South Pacific), you’ll be able to see it.

    Here’s the path that the totality (the area where you can see the sun completely covered up by the moon) will take across the globe:

    9) I clicked this article accidentally and really just want a cool picture of the sun
    We got you:

    The sun blew out a coronal mass ejection along with part of a solar filament over a three-hour period (February 24, 2015). Some of the strands fell back into the sun. Solar Dynamics Observatory/NASA
    The image above was taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, a spacecraft launched in 2010 to better understand the sun.

    Last year, NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe, a spacecraft that will come within 4 million miles of the surface of the sun (much closer than any spacecraft has been before). The goal is to study the sun’s atmosphere, weather, and magnetism and figure out the mystery of why the sun’s corona (its atmosphere) is much hotter than its surface. Still, even several million miles away, the probe will have to withstand temperatures of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

    It’s essential to understand the sun: It’s nothing to mess with. At Vox, Brad Plumer wrote about what happens when the sun erupts and sends space weather our way to wreak havoc on Earth.

    Happy solstice!
    Anyone got plans? I'm thinking beach after work...
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  7. #37
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    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    ttt 4 2020

    Strangest solstice celebration ever for me. Usually I'm at a music festival. This year, I'm home surfing the web.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  8. #38
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    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    2nd ttt for 2020

    I looked last night.

    Dec. 15, 2020
    The ‘Great’ Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

    Saturn, top, and Jupiter, below, are seen after sunset from Shenandoah National Park, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Luray, Virginia. The two planets are drawing closer to each other in the sky as they head towards a “great conjunction” on December 21, where the two giant planets will appear a tenth of a degree apart.
    Credits: NASA/ Bill Ingalls
    Skywatchers are in for an end-of-year treat. What has become known popularly as the “Christmas Star” is an especially vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next two weeks as the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn come together, culminating on the night of Dec. 21.

    In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope to the night sky, discovering the four moons of Jupiter – Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. In that same year, Galileo also discovered a strange oval surrounding Saturn, which later observations determined to be its rings. These discoveries changed how people understood the far reaches of our solar system.

    Thirteen years later, in 1623, the solar system’s two giant planets, Jupiter and Saturn, traveled together across the sky. Jupiter caught up to and passed Saturn, in an astronomical event known as a “Great Conjunction.”

    “You can imagine the solar system to be a racetrack, with each of the planets as a runner in their own lane and the Earth toward the center of the stadium,” said Henry Throop, astronomer in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “From our vantage point, we’ll be able to be to see Jupiter on the inside lane, approaching Saturn all month and finally overtaking it on December 21.”

    The planets regularly appear to pass each other in the solar system, with the positions of Jupiter and Saturn being aligned in the sky about once every 20 years.

    What makes this year’s spectacle so rare, then? It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, as it will for 2020, allowing nearly everyone around the world to witness this “great conjunction.”

    The closest alignment will appear just a tenth of a degree apart and last for a few days. On the 21st, they will appear so close that a pinkie finger at arm’s length will easily cover both planets in the sky. The planets will be easy to see with the unaided eye by looking toward the southwest just after sunset.

    From our vantage point on Earth the huge gas giants will appear very close together, but they will remain hundreds of millions of miles apart in space. And while the conjunction is happening on the same day as the winter solstice, the timing is merely a coincidence, based on the orbits of the planets and the tilt of the Earth.

    “Conjunctions like this could happen on any day of the year, depending on where the planets are in their orbits,” said Throop. “The date of the conjunction is determined by the positions of Jupiter, Saturn, and the Earth in their paths around the Sun, while the date of the solstice is determined by the tilt of Earth’s axis. The solstice is the longest night of the year, so this rare coincidence will give people a great chance to go outside and see the solar system.”

    Want to learn when and where to look up? Join Throop as he talks about the “Great Conjunction” on #NASAScience Live Thursday, Dec. 17. Submit your questions by using #askNASA. The NASA Science Live episode will air live at 3 p.m. EST Thursday on NASA Television and the agency's website, along with the NASA Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope channels.

    For those who would like to see this phenomenon for themselves, here’s what to do:

    Find a spot with an unobstructed view of the sky, such as a field or park. Jupiter and Saturn are bright, so they can be seen even from most cities.
    An hour after sunset, look to the southwestern sky. Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky.
    The planets can be seen with the unaided eye, but if you have binoculars or a small telescope, you may be able to see Jupiter’s four large moons orbiting the giant planet.
    Each night, the two planets will appear closer low in the southwest in the hour after sunset as illustrated in the below graphic:

    Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
    Learn these tips and trick on how to photograph planets:

    Night Sky Network:

    Visitors to Both Jupiter and Saturn:

    Want to learn more about planetary conjunctions? Take a look at some of these resources:

    Read these skywatching Tips from NASA:

    News Media Contacts

    Grey Hautaluoma / Alana Johnson
    NASA Headquarters, Washington
    202-358-0668 / 202-358-1501 /

    Last Updated: Dec. 16, 2020
    Editor: Bill Keeter
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I looked last night.
    I watched them on the telescope when the skies clear! I haven't got a photo of it sadly.

  10. #40
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    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    To all you dads, happy belated Father's Day too!

    Summer solstice: Hundreds attend Stonehenge despite advice
    Published4 hours ago
    People were seen climbing over a fence to get into the ancient stone circle
    Hundreds of people attended the summer solstice at Stonehenge despite official advice asking them not to travel to the site in line with Covid restrictions.

    As a result English Heritage pulled a live feed of the sunrise at the neolithic monument in Wiltshire at 04:52 BST due to safety concerns.

    People were seen climbing over a low fence to access the stones.

    Wiltshire Police said the event was peaceful but added the number of people at nearby Avebury had caused issues.

    More than 200,000 people from around the world tuned in to the live stream for the solstice but ended up watching pre-recorded footage of the stones until the feed returned at around 05:00 BST, showing largely cloudy skies.

    Video from the scene showed about a hundred people inside the stone circle and a banner reading "Standing for Stonehenge".

    Revellers gather to celebrate the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge ancient stone circle, despite official events being cancelled amid the spread of the coronavirus

    English Heritage had been preparing to welcome visitors in person until the government delayed the easing of covid restrictions into July.

    It said the "difficult decision" to cancel planned celebrations was made following discussions with Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Police.

    It meant the organisation held a virtual event for the second consecutive year.

    Apologising for the live stream outage, host Ed Shires said: "We have been disappointed that a number of people have chosen to disregard our request to not travel to the stones this morning and that is the reason why we haven't been able to bring you the pictures that we would have liked to have done.

    "It is disappointing to see that happen but unfortunately in those kind of situations we have to put the safety of our staff members first and that's why we have had some interruption this morning."

    A spokeswoman for English Heritage added: "The Covid-19 restrictions were extended for a reason and it was disappointing to see, during a pandemic, people act in a way that put themselves, our staff and the police at risk."

    What is the summer solstice?
    It is the longest day of the year, with the most hours of sunlight. The word solstice comes from the fact the sun appears to stand still - from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).

    The summer solstice always occurs between the 20th and 22nd June in the northern hemisphere, and during a leap year it always falls on the 20th.

    This is because the calendar year does not match exactly the time it takes the Earth to orbit the Sun - the calendar is approximately a quarter of a day short, which is why we have leap years, to bring the calendar back in line with the Earth's orbit.

    While the summer solstice is the day that has the most hours of sunlight, it can signal warmer weather is on the horizon because the UK's weather typically becomes hotter during July and August.

    English Heritage did not elaborate on how the attendance of people at the site prevented them from showing a live feed of the sunrise.

    Normally, more than 10,000 people would gather to watch the sun rise over the stones on the longest day of the year.

    At nearby Avebury stone circle, about 24 miles (38km) from Stonehenge, police closed off an area near to the site when crowds began gathering on Sunday evening.

    People inside the stone-circle during Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, where some people jumped over the fence to enter the site to watch the sun rise at dawn of the longest day in the UK. The stones have been officially closed for the celebrations, which see huge crowds inside the circle, due to the coronavirus lockdown extension.

    People ignored official advice not to travel to the site, but police said most were well behaved

    Supt Dave Minty, from Wiltshire Police, said: "Most people have been well behaved.

    "We have seen some build up in some areas around Avebury in particular, that we would have hoped to have avoided, but everything has been peaceful.

    "It is just the numbers that have caused us some issues up on the Ridgeway."

    He said a woman was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and had since been released.

    Leading druid King Arthur Pendragon performed a ritual during summer solstice at Stonehenge
    Senior druid King Arthur Pendragon said it was unnecessary to completely close the sites.

    "It was never going to be massive anyway," he said.

    "If you think about it a lot of the people who come to the solstice fly in from America, and all around the world, that wasn't going to happen this year, so I don't know why they didn't just let us in.

    "I'd rather have been in there... but as it goes we did what we could."

    Presentational grey line
    At the scene with BBC reporter Karen Gardner
    Hundreds of cones had been placed on the roads closest to Stonehenge to prevent parking, but cars and vans were still squeezed into the few available slots.

    At about 04:50 BST about 200 to 300 people had stepped over the low fence to be among the stones as the sun rose behind a bank of grey cloud.

    It may have been the summer solstice, but it was as cold a morning as I can remember this year, there was a real chill in the air.

    I drove the short distance to the Avebury stones where a couple of hundred people - many who had camped out or slept in their vehicles overnight - also ignored the pleas from the authorities not to move among the monuments.

    It all seemed very good-natured, with the security guards and police at both sites fairly relaxed.

    Presentational grey line
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    Gene Ching
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  11. #41
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    ttt 4 2021

    The shortest day of the year is Tuesday. Here's what to know about the winter solstice
    Doyle Rice

    Welcome back, winter.

    The winter solstice – which marks the beginning of astronomical winter in the Northern Hemisphere – is Tuesday. It's the precise moment at which the Northern Hemisphere is tilted ****hest from the sun.

    The solstice occurs at the same instant everywhere on Earth: Here in the U.S., it happens at 10:59 a.m. EST on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

    At that moment, the sun's rays will be directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, a line of latitude that circles the Earth in the Southern Hemisphere.

    More:Louisville-area police searching for missing 14-year-old boy Kerry Brooks

    Lots of predictions about what will happen this winter in Louisville have been rolling in, including a lot more flu cases than last year. There have also been hypotheses about snow, based on squirrels, persimmon seeds and wooly worms. This family even uses a Japanese elk tree.

    Though the solstice marks the astronomical beginning of winter, meteorologists view the first day of winter as Dec. 1, which is the start of the coldest three months in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Most locations don't have their earliest sunset or latest sunrise on the solstice. Those events occur either weeks before or after Dec. 21.

    The date of the winter solstice varies from year to year and can fall anywhere from Dec. 20-23, but the 21st and 22nd are the most common dates.

    The solstice is typically not the coldest day of the year. There's a bit of a lag between the solstice and the day with the coldest average temperatures for most spots in the USA.

    Business:Hy-Vee says it's heading to Louisville: Why shoppers say they love the grocery chain

    Observers mark the winter solstice Dec. 21, 2018, at Stonehenge in England. It's the precise moment at which the Northern Hemisphere is tilted ****hest from the sun.

    This lag in temperature occurs because even though the amount of daylight is increasing, the Earth's surface continues to lose more heat than it receives from the sun. In most locations, the minimum daily temperature occurs around two or three weeks later, in early to mid-January.

    For example, the coldest days in Boston, on average, are Jan. 17-26. In Chicago, they're Jan. 17-20, and in Miami, Jan. 2-22, according to the National Weather Service. By the end of January, more heat finally begins arriving than leaving, and days slowly start to warm up.

    The Earth's tilted axis causes the seasons. During the Northern Hemisphere's winter, the land north of the equator is tilted away from the sun, which lowers the amount of the sun's energy warming the Northern Hemisphere.

    Why is the Earth tilted on its axis? It's probably the result of collisions with various protoplanets and other massive objects during the formation of the solar system billions of years ago, according to NASA.

    The winter solstice, also known as midwinter, marks the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.
    Ready for summer already...
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    ttt 4 2022

    It's 100 degrees in the SF Bay Area where I am right now.

    Welcome summer.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.


    winter solstice 2022: Shortest day of the year is long on pagan rituals

    by forrest brown, cnn
    updated 4:04 am est, wed december 21, 2022


    for the past six months, the days have grown shorter and the nights have grown longer in the northern hemisphere. But that’s about to reverse itself.

    Winter solstice 2022, the shortest day of year and the official first day of winter, is on wednesday, december 21 (well, for a decent chunk of the world anyway). How this all works has fascinated people for thousands of years.

    First we’ll look at the science and precise timing behind the solstice. Then we’ll explore some ancient traditions and celebrations around the world.

    The science and timing behind a winter solstice

    the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, when the sun appears at its most southerly position, directly overhead at the tropic of capricorn.

    The situation is the reverse in the southern hemisphere, where only about 10% of the world’s population lives. There, the december solstice marks the longest day of the year – and the beginning of summer – in places like argentina, madagascar, new zealand and south africa.

    These three images from noaa's goes east (goes-16) satellite show us what earth looks like from space near the winter solstice. The images were captured about 24 hours before the 2018 winter solstice. You can see how the northern hemisphere is cloaked in more darkness.

    when exactly does it occur?

    The solstice usually – but not always – takes place on december 21. The date that the solstice occurs can shift because the solar year (the time it takes for the sun to reappear in the same spot as seen from earth) doesn’t exactly match up to our calendar year.

    If you want to be super-precise in your observations, the exact time of the 2022 winter solstice will be 21:48 coordinated universal time (utc) on wednesday, according to and farmers’ almanac. That’s almost six hours later than last year’s time.

    the sun sets at ocean beach in san francisco on winter solstice 2020.
    Jane tyska/digital first media/east bay times/getty images

    below are some examples of when 21:48 utc will be for various local times in places around the world. Because of time zone differences, the vast bulk of asia will mark the winter solstice on thursday, december 22.

    • tokyo: 6:48 a.m. Thursday
    • hanoi, vietnam: 4:48 a.m. Thursday
    • new delhi: 3:18 a.m. Thursday
    • istanbul: 12:48 a.m. Thursday
    • jerusalem: 11:48 p.m. Wednesday
    • copenhagen, denmark: 10:48 p.m. Wednesday
    • charlotte, north carolina: 4:48 p.m. Wednesday
    • winnipeg, manitoba: 3:48 p.m. Wednesday
    • san francisco: 1:48 p.m. Wednesday
    • honolulu: 11:48 a.m. Wednesday

    to check the timing where you live, the website earthsky has a handy conversion table for your time zone. You might also try the conversion tools at, or

    Winter's wisdom: In the heart of darkness, there is a light
    what places see and feel the effects of the winter solstice the most?

    Daylight decreases dramatically the closer you are to the north pole on december 21.

    People in balmy singapore, just 137 kilometers or 85 miles north of the equator, barely notice the difference, with just nine fewer minutes of daylight than they have during the summer solstice. It’s pretty much a 12-hour day, give or take a few minutes, all year long there.

    Much higher in latitude, paris still logs in a respectable eight hours and 14 minutes of daylight to enjoy a chilly stroll along the seine.

    The difference is more stark in frigid oslo, norway, where the sun will rise at 9:18 a.m. And set at 3:12 p.m., resulting in less than six hours of anemic daylight. Sun lamp, anyone?

    Residents of nome, alaska, will be even more sunlight deprived with just three hours and 54 minutes and 31 seconds of very weak daylight. But that’s downright generous compared with prudhoe bay, alaska. It sits inside the arctic circle and won’t see a single ray of sunshine.

    What causes the winter solstice to even happen?

    Because earth is tilted on its rotational axis, we have changing seasons. As the planet moves around the sun, each hemisphere experiences winter when it’s tilted away from the sun and summer when it’s tilted toward the sun.

    Dimmer switch: The earth isn't as bright as it once was
    hold on! Why is the earth tilted?

    Scientists are not entirely sure how this occurred, but they think that billions of years ago, as the solar system was taking shape, the earth was subject to violent collisions that caused the axis to tilt.

    What other seasonal transitions do we mark?

    The equinoxes, both spring and fall, occur when the sun’s rays are directly over the equator. On those two days, everyone everywhere has a nearly equal length of day and night. The summer solstice is when the sun’s rays are ****hest north over the tropic of cancer, giving us our longest day and the official start of summer in the northern hemisphere.

    Winter solstice traditions and celebrations

    it’s no surprise many cultures and religions celebrate a holiday – whether it be christmas, hanukkah, kwanzaa or pagan festivals – that coincides with the return of longer days.

    Ancient peoples whose survival depended on a precise knowledge of seasonal cycles marked this first day of winter with elaborate ceremonies and celebrations. Spiritually, these celebrations symbolize the opportunity for renewal.

    “christmas takes many of its customs and probably its date on the calendar from the pagan roman festivals of saturnalia and kalends,” maria kennedy, assistant teaching professor in the department of american studies at rutgers university, told cnn travel in an email.

    15 of the best places to go for a christmas-themed vacation
    saturnalia started on december 17 and kalends started on january 1, said kennedy, who specializes in christmas studies.

    Citing academic research, kennedy said early founders of the christian church condemned the practices of these holidays, but their popularity endured. Christian observance of christmas eventually aligned around the same time in the calendar even though there’s no specific date set in the gospels for the birth of jesus.

    Here’s more on some of those ancient customs:

    Alban arthan

    in the welsh language, “alban arthan” means for “light of winter,” according to the farmers’ almanac. It might be the oldest seasonal festival of humankind. Part of druidic traditions, the winter solstice is considered a time of death and rebirth.

    Newgrange, a prehistoric monument built in ireland around 3200 bc, is associated with the alban arthan festival.


    in ancient rome, saturnalia lasted for seven days. It honored saturn, the roman god of agriculture.

    The people enjoyed carnival-like festivities resembling modern mardi gras celebrations and even delayed their war-making. Slaves were given temporary freedoms, and moral restrictions were eased. Saturnalia continued into the third and fourth centuries ad.


    it’s not just ancient europeans who marked the annual occasion. The dongzhi winter solstice festival has its roots in ancient chinese culture. The name translates roughly as “extreme of winter.”

    they thought this was the apex of yin (from chinese medicine theory). Yin represents darkness and cold and stillness, thus the longest day of winter. Dongzhi marks the return yang – and the slow ascendance of light and warmth. Dumplings are usually eaten to celebrate in some east asian cultures.

    Many places around the world traditionally hold festivals that honor the winter solstice. A few of them include:

    Montol festival

    better known for pirates than the solstice, the town of penzance on the southwest coast of england revived the delightful tradition of a cornish processional – along with dancing, mask-wearing, singing and more.

    a choir sings at stonehenge to mark the winter solstice.
    Ben birchall /pa images/getty images


    the uk’s most famous site for solstice celebrations is stonehenge. On the winter solstice, visitors traditionally enter the towering, mysterious stone circle for a sunrise ceremony run by local pagan and druid groups.

    The english heritage society says the 2022 celebration will be held on thursday, december 22. It will be livestreamed on its youtube channel.

    Lantern festival

    in canada, vancouver’s winter solstice lantern festival is a sparkling celebration of solstice traditions spread across the granville island, strathcona and yaletown neighborhoods.

    Cnn’s katia hetter and autumn spanne contributed to this article.
    happy solstice!
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #44
    happy solstice, everyone!!!

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.


    Happy Solstice!
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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