The longest day of the year is upon us.
Monday brought the summer solstice, which marks the beginning of the season and a chance to soak in copious amounts of sunshine.
The solstice is celebrated by a variety of cultures worldwide. Every year, thousands gather at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, to rejoice at the prospect of sunny summer days.
As if this day wasn’t already a wonderful excuse to run outside, Monday also featured a full “strawberry” moon — the name comes from the belief that strawberry-picking season is at its peak during this time of the year, according to the Farmer’s Almanac.
Monday’s full moon, which is also called the Mead Moon or the Rose Moon, comes on the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all evening long. Normally, the moon shares some time with the daytime sky during June, according to Sky & Telescope.
On Monday, the summer sun will reach its most northerly point, directly overhead at the Tropic of Cancer at 23 degrees 27 minutes north latitude. For North American time zones this event happens at 6:34 p.m. EDT, 5:34 p.m. CDT, 4:34 p.m. MDT and 3:34 p.m. PDT, Sky & Telescope reports.
Some online calculators can help you figure out when sunrise and sunset will happen in your area.
This time of year is celebrated not only in different cultures, but also in literature.
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer,” author F. Scott Fitzgerald writes in “The Great Gatsby.”