Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Fun Facts: Happy Summer Solstice!

Happy Friday, everyone! It's the official first day of summer - what a great day! Even better, it's my last day of teaching school for this year. Hubby and I will be going on vacation tomorrow to celebrate and start our vacation right :)

It's kind of neat to think about today as the longest day of the year and what the summer solstice has meant over the centuries to cultures who celebrate it. For example:

 The ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramids so that the sun, when viewed from the Sphinx, sets precisely between two of the pyramids on the summer solstice.

The Inca of South America celebrated the corresponding winter solstice with a ceremony called Inti Raymi, which included food offerings and sacrifices of animals, and maybe even people.

 Recently, archaeologists discovered the remains of an astronomical observatory in a long-buried Maya city in Guatemala in which the buildings were designed to align with the sun during the solstices. During such times, the city's populace gathered at the observatory to watch as their king appeared to command the heavens.

 And perhaps most famously, Stonehenge in the United Kingdom has been associated with the winter and summer solstices for about 5,000 years.

So...what are YOU doing with the longest day of your year?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Celebrating, the moment I leave work. I love that the solstice falls on a Friday this year. It feels like a holiday. I love the "threshold" of summer.

Thanks for a cool post and enjoy your vacation!