Summer solstice, which falls on June 21 this year, is the longest day of the year above the equator. The day is also the official start of summer – it begins at 6:07 a.m. EDT. The astronomical event is also the turning point after which the sun starts rising later and setting earlier.
Different traditions and celebrations have been around thousands of years, some of which are preserved today. From bonfires to equine stunts and music festivals, people all over the world gather to celebrate the period of days, and sometimes weeks, of the never-setting sun.
The most famous location is the Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, but did you know that Menorca, Spain, has its own unique rituals that celebrate the solar phenomenon?
While people in a few places participate in traditional ceremonies to purify their souls and cleanse their bodies, the summer solstice celebrations are mostly about bringing people together to mark a fresh beginning by having a lot of fun and witnessing unique scenes, such as illuminating a chapel in red light.
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