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When is the longest day in 2024: the date of the summer solstice

Yulia PoteriankoNews
The natural cycle of the solar year is honored in all cultures around the world. Source: Created with the help of AI

Among the oldest holidays of mankind, inherent in almost all cultures, are those related to the solar cycle and the length of the day. In this case, the summer solstice is considered the mid-year holiday: the moment when daylight reaches its maximum length and night is the shortest.

This day is called the solstice. It is dedicated to the celebration of the power of nature, its ability to renew itself every year and give people a harvest. OBOZ.UA found out on what date this year the summer solstice falls.

What is the summer solstice?

From the point of view of astronomy, the summer solstice is the moment when the tilt of the Earth's rotation axis towards the Sun is at its greatest. For residents of the northern hemisphere, on this day, the sun visually reaches its highest point in the sky, and the day is of the longest possible duration. After that, its duration begins to gradually decrease.

Due to the inaccuracy of the calendar, the date of the summer solstice changes every year and falls on June 20-21. In 2024, the moment of its onset is 23:50:56 Kyiv time on June 20.

It is noteworthy that in the southern hemisphere of the Earth, the shortest day occurs at the same time and it begins to gradually increase. This happens because the Earth is tilted at an angle to the Sun and in different parts of the year, different parts of it are closer to the luminary.

Traditions of the summer solstice

As we've already mentioned, all cultures celebrate the festival of life on the longest day of the year. For the Slavs, it has long been called Kupala. On this day, they honored the power of fire by lighting ritual bonfires and jumping over the fire to purify themselves. They also paid tribute to water by bathing in ponds, and unmarried girls would throw wreaths into them.

With the advent of Christianity, the celebration of the Nativity of John the Baptist was set for this date. According to the New Julian calendar, it falls on June 24. But no matter how hard the church tried to fight against the folk traditions of the day in the middle of summer, it could not do so. Therefore, today the celebration is popularly called Ivan Kupala, as if honoring both traditions at once.

Other peoples also hold the summer solstice in high esteem. In Latvia, it is called Ligo, in Estonia - Jaanipää, and in Finland - Juhannus. The Celts called this date Lita, the Armenians Vardavar, and the Iranians Tirgan. The Spanish celebrate San Juan on this day, and their neighbors the Portuguese celebrate St. John's Day.

One way or another, in all cultures it is a celebration of life and the power of the sun. Traditional rituals are aimed at honoring it. People burn ritual bonfires, gather around them, sing and dance, decorate themselves, their homes or ritual objects with greenery and flowers. Often the celebrations are also associated with water.

It is believed that one should not sleep on this night. You need to meet the dawn, then it will bring prosperity for the whole next year. In Ukraine, on the night of Ivan Kupala, it is customary to look for the mythical fern flower. It is believed that the one who finds it will be able to discover all the secrets, see treasures in the ground and understand the language of animals. And a couple who jumps over the Kupala fire holding hands will never part.

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