Summer Solstice 2024 Sets an Unprecedented Record


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The 2024 summer solstice will take place on Thursday, June 20, and will be the earliest solstice in 228 years. In the coming decades, the solstice will occur more and more often on June 20, and not just on the 21st, as we are used to. Until 30-40 years ago it was normal for the “longest day” to be on June 22.

On June 20, 2024, the summer solstice occurs, at 11:51 p.m. In 2028, the solstice will be on June 20, the rest will be on June 21 this decade. After 2030 there will be even more years where the solstice will be on June 20. The date of June 22nd is not returning to the solstice calendar anytime soon.

A few decades ago, the summer solstice also happened to be on June 22 (the last examples being 1983, 1987 and 1991). In the ten years between 1950 and 1959, the summer solstice fell on June 22 in five years.

Thursday is the longest day of the year. The duration of the day is 15h 32m, the night is only 8h 28m.

On June 22, at 4:08 a.m., the Full Moon phase occurs. Americans call this first Full Moon of Summer the Strawberry Moon because it was the best time to pick strawberries in North America. This first Summer Full Moon is also called the Hot Moon, Hatching Moon or Birth Moon.

The summer solstice symbolizes the power of the Sun and the beauty of the Earth, including in Romania.
In Romanian tradition, there are far fewer beliefs and superstitions specifically tied to the summer solstice, but many are associated with Sânziene/Midsummer Day (June 24).
However, the day of the summer solstice, when the cuckoo was thought to stop singing, was called “The Cuckoo’s Silence”. The cuckoo indicates the astronomical spring, and for Romanians, the cuckoo symbolizes, depending on where it sings, how it sings and what it sits on, either health, luck or marriage, but sometimes also death.

The period of the summer solstice was also favorable for the collection of medicinal plants: for these there was a strict traditional calendar and certain plants were only collected at night (for example on the night of Sânziene).
Both in Romania, but also in the countries of northern Europe, there were a series of traditions of this period: the gathering of flowers and the weaving of crowns worn by girls, decorating houses and fences with leafy branches, the fern flower that blooms on the darkest night long of the year, unmarried girls who, wanting to dream of their teddy bear, collect various flowers to put under their pillow to dream of their teddy bear.
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