Jun 21, 2009

Happy Summer Solstice

There are several places in Chaco Canyon that mark the movement of the sun throughout the year. Casa Rinconada, one of the larger kivas in the Chacoan system, is open to the public just before sunrise during the few days of the summer solstice. During these days, the longest of the year, the sun shines through a window and into a niche.

The Summer Solstice Dawn at Stonehenge

The Summer Solstice Dawn at Stonehenge

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The Summer Solstice is also known as: Alban Heflin, Alben Heruin, All-couples day, Feast of Epona, Feast of St. John the Baptist, Feill-Sheathain, Gathering Day, Johannistag, Litha, Midsummer, Sonnwend, Thing-Tide, Vestalia, etc.

. . .

People around the world have observed spiritual and religious seasonal days of celebration during the month of June. Most have been religious holy days which are linked in some way to the summer solstice. On this day, typically JUN-21, the daytime hours are at a maximum in the Northern hemisphere, and night time is at a minimum. It is officially the first day of summer. It is also referred to as Midsummer because it is roughly the middle of the growing season throughout much of Europe.

"Solstice" is derived from two Latin words: "sol" meaning sun, and "sistere," to cause to stand still. This is because, as the summer solstice approaches, the noonday sun rises higher and higher in the sky on each successive day. On the day of the solstice, it rises an imperceptible amount, compared to the day before. In this sense, it "stands still." [more here]

Temple of the Sun, Circular Window Marks June Solstice, Machu Picchu, Peru

Temple of the Sun, Circular Window Marks
June Solstice, Machu Picchu, Peru

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