Summer Solstice 2020: Summer finally begins tomorrow – how to watch live from Stonehenge

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The weather across the UK may not exactly reflect it at the moment, but summer is finally almost here.

This year, the Summer Solstice will take place at 22:43 BST tomorrow, taking us from spring into summer.

The summer solstice is the day of the year with the longest period of daylight, while the winter solstice is the day with the shortest period of daylight.

The Met Office explained: “When it is the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the areas north of the Arctic circle receive sunlight for a full 24 hours, while areas south of the Antarctic circle have a full day of total darkness. This situation is reversed at the winter solstice.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the Summer Solstice, including when it is, and how you can watch the first summer sunrise live from Stonehenge.

The Summer Solstice will occur on Saturday 20 June 2020 at 22:43 BST.

The summer solstice is the day of the year with the longest period of daylight, while the winter solstice is the day with the shortest period of daylight.

The Met Office explained: “At the summer solstice, the Sun reaches its highest point of the year, while at the winter solstice, the noon Sun is the lowest it will be all year.

“During the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere of Earth is tilted towards the Sun, resulting in increased sunlight and warmer temperatures.

“This can also result in continuous daylight in far northern countries such as Iceland and Norway.”

The Summer Solstice is usually celebrated at the famous ancient monument, Stonehenge.

Royal Museums Greenwich explained: “The ancient monument Stonehenge has for some time been the centre of a ritual celebration. This comes from the fact the stones are lined up to frame the rising of the Sun on the solstice, perhaps suggesting a connection to the day and as a celebration of Sun.

“However it isn’t clear if marking summer solstice was indeed its purpose. The stones also mark the position of sunset on the winter solstice, and so may instead indicate a place to request the return of the summer months.”

Sadly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, celebrations at Stonehenge have been cancelled this year.

Nichola Tasker, Stonehenge director, explained: “We have consulted widely on whether we could have proceeded safely and we would have dearly liked to host the event as per usual, but sadly in the end, we feel we have no choice but to cancel.”

Celebrations in Mexico include the appearance of a feathered serpent shadow on Chichen Itza, while people in Sweden and Latvia host floral-themed events.

Royal Museums Greenwich added: “In the southern hemisphere, where the summer solstice occurs in December, the day is instead strongly associated with Christmas, having once been the day of its celebration until various calendar changes shifted the dates apart.”

While celebrations at Stonehenge have been cancelled, the last sunset of spring, and the first sunset of summer will be streamed online.

Ms Tasker said: “We hope that our live stream offers an alternative opportunity for people near and far to connect with this spiritual place at such a special time of year and we look forward to welcoming everyone back next year.”

You can watch the live stream here.

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