Sunshine revelers in the Northern Hemisphere have been enjoying the days growing longer and the evenings growing brighter; but now, that trend will be reversed. Sunday is summer solstice, the longest day of the year above the equator and the turning point after which the sun starts rising later and setting earlier.
“Solstice” comes from the Latin solsitium, or “sun stands still.” The sun does indeed appear to stand still on the solstice, as it reaches its highest point in the sky. This illusion occurs because the Earth’s is tilted as far as it goes toward the sun.
The solstice marks the official first day of summer, and has been celebrated for its symbolic importance since ancient times.
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SOURCE: TIME, Sarah Begley