The longest day of the year is fast approaching. On June 20 we celebrate the arrival of summer! We wave goodbye to spring, and we welcome longer days, warmer and sunnier weather, hopefully, and a million possibilities to keep fit and healthy.
But what exactly is the summer solstice? And how can you make the most of it? We have you covered!
When is the Summer Solstice 2020?
The summer solstice marks the day with the most active daylight hours in the northern hemisphere, often referred to as the longest day of the year.
On June 20 this year, the UK will enjoy 16 hours and 38 minutes of daylight. The Sun will rise at 4.43 am and set at 9.21 pm.
The summer solstice occurs when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most inclined towards the Sun and is directly above the Tropic of Cancer. The amount of sunlight received in each region of the planet will vary due to that change in inclination during the Earth's orbit around the Sun.
On the other hand, the summer solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Southern hemisphere, where they prepare to welcome the Winter.
Cool fact: The term 'solstice' derives from the Latin word 'solstitium', meaning 'sun standing still'.
Summer Solstice Traditions
One of the biggest celebrations in the UK occurs at Stonehenge with crowds gathering to watch the sunrise on the day. The tradition sees revellers waiting by the Wiltshire monument on midsummer, facing towards the north-easterly direction.
In ancient pagan times in Ireland, the Summer Solstice symbolised that the power of the Sun was at its highest and was believed to be a sacred time.
Following the establishment of the Christian Church, solstice celebrations were combined with St John's Day, commemorating St John the Baptist. In the 19th century, Christians used St John's Day to act out the baptisms of children who had died as 'pagans'.
Please note, it is likely this year there won't be any solstice events around the country. This is to comply with the government guidelines around social distancing and to ensure safety in response to coronavirus.
Plans to enjoy the longest day of the year
If local events are cancelled this year, do not worry! There are many ways you can celebrate and enjoy the longest day of the year.
Go for a walk
It will always be a good idea to take advantage of the warm weather and go for a long walk. Enjoy the new colours that nature offers you and clear the mind of the routine.
Grab a cushion, go outside, find a quiet spot and do some meditating.
Make a fruit Medley
Gather all the fruit and go for a picnic outside. Enjoy the summer with your family while eating some healthy snacks.
Dance like no one is watching
Pick your favourite summer tune, crank up the volume and dance around
Of course, at Curves, we encourage you to make the most out of the longest day of the year by keeping active and exercising—the best way to start the summer kickstarting your health and strengthening your muscles.
If you want to know more about the benefits of strength training and the Curves 30-min programme find your nearest Curves Gym today.