Summer Solstice 2018: First Day of Summer

When is the First Day of Summer 2018?

Sunflower with Bees

The timing of the June solstice—or, summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere—varies between June 20 and June 22, depending on the year and time zone. See the time and date of the Summer Solstice 2018, below.

When is the Summer Solstice?

This year, the June solstice falls on Thursday, June 21, 2018 in all U.S. and Canada time zones, specifically at 6:07 A.M. EDT.

Year Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere)
2017 Wednesday, June 21
2018 Thursday, June 21
2019 Friday, June 21

What is the Summer Solstice?

The timing of the solstice is not based on a specific calendar date and time. It depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator.

The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).

In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer. 

This summer solstice is the day with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. See our handy sunrise and sunset calculator for how many hours of sunlight you get in your location.

At the winter solstice, just the opposite occurs: The Sun is at its southernmost point and is low in the sky. Its rays hit the Northern Hemisphere at an oblique angle, creating the feeble winter sunlight.

See 7 fun facts about the June solstice!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why Doesn’t the Summer Solstice Fall on the Same Date Each Year?

A: The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere ranges in date from June 20 to 22. This occurs in part because of the difference between the Gregorian calendar system, which normally has 365 days, and the tropical year (how long it takes Earth to orbit the Sun once), which has about 365.242199 days. To compensate for the missing fraction of days, the Gregorian calendar adds a leap day about every 4 years, which makes the date for summer jump backward. However, the date also changes because of other influences, such as the gravitational pull from the Moon and planets, as well as the slight wobble in Earth’s rotation.

Q: Why isn’t the summer solstice—the longest day of the year—also the hottest day of the year?

A: Earth’s atmosphere, land, and oceans absorb part of the incoming energy from the Sun and store it, releasing it back as heat at various rates. Water is slower to heat (or cool) than air or land. At the summer solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives the most energy (highest intensity) from the Sun due to the angle of sunlight and day length. However, the land and oceans are still relatively cool, due to spring’s temperatures, so the maximum heating effect on air temperature is not felt just yet. Eventually, the land and, especially, oceans will release stored heat from the summer solstice back into the atmosphere. This usually results in the year’s hottest temperatures appearing in late July, August, or later, depending on latitude and other factors. This effect is called seasonal temperature lag.

Q: What is Midsummer Day (June 24)?

A: Around the time of the summer solstice, this day was the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvest. Read more about the ancient Quarter Days!

Seasons on Other Planets

  • Mercury has virtually no tilt (less than ⅓0th of a degree) relative to the plane of its orbit, and therefore does not experience true seasons.
  • Uranus is tilted by almost 98 degrees and has seasons that last 21 years. 


Fun Facts

In Sweden, people celebrate the Summer Solstice by eating the first strawberries of the season.

In ancient Egypt, summer was the start of the new year. The rising of the star Sirius roughly coincided with the summer solstice and the annual flooding of the Nile River.

Summer Solstice Folklore

  • Deep snow in winter, tall grain in summer. –Estonian proverb
  • When the summer birds take their flight, goes the summer with them.
  • If it rains on Midsummer’s Eve, the filbert crops will be spoiled. –Unknown
  • One swallow never made a summer.
  • Easterly winds from May 19 to the 21 indicate a dry summer.
  • If there are many falling stars during a clear summer evening, expect thunder. If there are none, expect fine weather.

When does fall start? Click here to see the first date of each season.

Reader Comments

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Canada people enjoy 4Season of the year. It having equality and on time.

A Complete Experience 2017

Remember to 'Wash and Polish Your Wedding Ring, with a Wish and A Prayer for Health, Wealth, Happiness' and A Complete Experience of The Summer Solstice.
Maybe give the dog and cat collar a splash of water and a wish, and The House Number ........

More timezones east of EDT

There are two time zones east of Eastern Daylight savings Time (EDT); Atlantic (ADT) and Newfoundland (NDT). These will hit summer at 1:24am and 1:54am respectively.

OMG - not the first day of summer

June 21 is the MIDDLE day of summer (the 90 longest days of the year)! That's why every non-american in the Northern Hemisphere calls it 'midsummer'.

Amazingly Sweet & Sad )O(

I was on my way to visit with my Ma whom had had a double stroke. While I was going through security my phone rang and when I saw Ma's name I knew she was gone. I collapsed and I don't remember how I got to the gate, but there I was with Jet Blue employees helping me. Because of the time differential I assumed Ma passed to Spirit on the 21st of June. However, when I spoke to the funeral director he said she had passed on the 20th. I didn't realize the significance of this date until I got home and looked at my calendar which still was turned to June. I was hoping Ma could hold on until I got there (I was told she had a week, it turned out to be days) but she was gone before I got there. Now I know why. Though Ma's Spiritual Path was different than mine, she nonetheless understood and respected my Spiritual Path as a Moon Worshiper and an observer of the 8 Spiritual Rites I hold sacred. I believe this was the last gift she could give me. That she knew that every Full Moon I would dance and celebrate the Elders of my Religion and Raise a Cone Of Power. The fact that The Summer Solstice coincides with the Strawberry Moon is not lost on me. Summer was our favorite time of year, and strawberry shortcake was our favorite dessert. It is now July 14th and 3 weeks have passed. I have my waves of joy and sorrow and yet I am grateful to her for leaving me a remembrance that I will celebrate every Full Moon. )O(

Sun solstce and the Mayans

Do they REALLY did that? The Mayans? Or is just another ignorant comment about a culture you don't know anything about? Is this one of those stories the catholic priest told to excuse the enslaving, forced conversion and abuse of the Mayan? After all those savage stories made a good argument about making them good Christians and force them to forget their culture and language. If this is an ignorant patronizing think you say you are just perpetuaring a lie used to kill and conquer a culture


Your political correctness regarding the Mayans is way out of line relative to history.

The Mayans were perhaps the most evil culture ever to exist. They killed thousands at a time (other indigenous peoples) to satisfy their worshiping of their Sun and Moon "gods". It took Catholic Christianity to get them to stop the killing.


Full moon

The secular humanist just drips off this article. Not one mention of the power that set these orbs in the heavens in the first place. To God give the glory for the wonderment of the heavens.

The Heavens

Amen! To God be the glory!

Give Glory

I so totally agree, reading about how each planet and star has it's purpose and the earth is so perfectly crafted for human life how can one not acknowledge that there is a Creator of all

Lol, which 'god' exactly?

Lol, which 'god' exactly?
There's 10's of 1000's to choose from over the span of man on this planet, and a different story to go with each one.

Which God?

The Bible describes the God who created all things, his name is Jehovah (Psalm 83:18)

Which God?

I come to find there are many gods (little g)
I found only one God (big G, big difference)though at 30 years old!

1st Day Of Summer

It appears that within the last five to ten years (recent memory) someone decided to begin messing with the thought patterns of the Baby Boomers in relation to the First Day of Summer.
It has always been on June 21st prior to that time when the sneaky 'switch' started occurring.
As far as I can remember (all of my life), June 21st was the First Day of Summer.
Even the Almanac and all of the yearly calendars stated the same thing.

I'm sticking with the original date, June 21st because I like the idea of being a purist when it comes down to recognition of when Summer actually begins.
As for the 20th is concerned, it's just another day trying to hijack the original...

Enjoy the full moon tonight.

Solstice time

Summer starts when the Earth is at its most tilted towards the Sun, when our axis is pointed the furthest towards the South.
After this point, the axis begins its 6 month movement back towards North, until the Winter Solstice.
The actual date can and does vary.
This has nothing to do with anything but the Earth's tilt and its movement.

mid summer

I always felt that mid summer is mid way between the summer solstice and the fall equinox.


There really is no debate as to what the Summer Solstice is... the middle of the Summer season, based upon the astronomical reality.

Weather varies from region to region, so there is no absolute basis there. For that, we must look to the stars. As we've become more urbanized and increasingly lost touch with the natural cycles of the planet, we've likewise lost touch with the scientific reality of Nature. We now tend to base our perceptions of the seasons on our own lifestyles... when we take vacations, hold cookouts, enjoy Summer school vacations, etc. We've lost our sense of balance and come to miss the point. Consider the following.

In the Southern Hemisphere, Midwinter is now manifesting. The Sun began its' increase in length (waxing) phase at our (Northern Hemisphere) Midwinter, the longest night, which was its' lowest point, with the least hours of daylight. This is why Midwinter celebrations were so prolific, as it marked newfound hope that the Spring was on its' way back, hence the emphasis on greenery and light in the midst of the deepest darkness. Now, at Midsummer, the Sun will begin to wane (this year shortly after 6:00pm EST) as the days grow progressively shorter.

Modern thinking that the Summer Solstice is the "first day" of Summer is simply wrong. Traditionally, the 1st of May has been considered the first day of Summer, hence the Maypole celebrations, when the "last vestiges of Winter" were bade farewell, and the planting and growth time had returned.

Further Calculations

So, at 6:30am, EDT when the Moon is actually 100% Full, but on the other side of the planet, where, just say Hong Kong, CH, It is 6:30pm, THEY are experiencing, (viewing), the actual overlap of the Full Moon/Summer Solstice, but by the time the Moon appears in the skies over the Eastern US, it is already a waning gibbous, at 99.673% by Moonrise on the East Coast of the US. Of course, The Summer Solstice time is obviously a Global thing, and, although the Full Moon is, technically also, it is not viewable from the entire globe at the precise time of The Summer Solstice. (Bear with me, I have a TBI)

A misnomer and a bit of confusion

I am curious to know, if my calculations are correct, (using what would probably appear to professionals as children's toys, a phone app), if the Full Moon starts at 6:26am EDT, and is only 100% until 7:29 am EDT, and the Summer Solstice doesn't start until 6:34 p.m. EDT, according to this article, then this Summer Solstice and Full Moon coinciding are ONLY coinciding on the same day? But not an actual exact overlap?
I am also trying to figure out why, according to my calculations via a simple astro-clock app, there won't be another overlap such as this until Sunday, June 21, 2111. And it, is also not an exact time overlap, just the same day.
That being said, IS there a time in the distant future where the Summer Solstice overlaps a Full Moon to the hour, and is that even possible?

Thank you

My friend told me that first

My friend told me that first day of summer is may23 is it crocct

1st Day of Summer

More likely the 1st of May. While May can still be cold in various regions, Beltane (or Bealtine, the last day of April into the first day of May) was marked by festivals acknowledging the reign of the Sun once again. Spring planting may have already been underway, depending on where you were located, and the emphasis was on the renewed power of the Sun, often known as Belanus or Bel, hence the term "Bel-Fire". Belfires or Balefires were lit to welcome the Summer across Europe and what is now the UK, a custom which has seen a resurgence, and has been embraced amongst certain factions here in the US.

As our modern society has lost touch with the deep connection to the Earth and its' cycles that were common to our ancestors, and as a result we've fallen into ignorance as to the seasonal cycles.

There is a certain amount of "overlap" from season to season. The Celtic culture was quite influential in regard to our modern system. In that, the year was divided three ways. First, Winter and Summer, half and half. Secondly, into four quarters... Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn. Winter was viewed as the "dead time" of the Earth, Spring was the rebirth or resurrection of the life of the Earth, Summer was the time of growth and teeming life, and Autumn was the time of harvest and the winding down of another year. Finally, the year was further divided into eighths. 31 October marked Samhain, the ending of the year as 1 November ushered in Winter. The Winter Solstice marked the halfway point, when the waning hours of daylight were at their least, and the moment of the darkest depth of night brought the turning point, wherein the hours of daylight began to slowly increase. (This was the basis for the traditions of bringing greenery and bright decorations into the house, many of which have carried over into our more modern Christmas celebrations.) Imbolc, later Candlemas, was when the sheep began to lactate, and Winter began to lose its' grip as Spring stirred deep within the Earth. The Spring Equinox marked the balance of the hours of daylight and darkness, and hence was celebrated as the first day of the Spring season, the theme being the resurrection of life within the Earth. Beltane, or May Day, was when the warmth was at last gaining final reign once more, and the power of the Sun was providing fertility to the soil. Midsummer was the high point, the apex, of the season of growth. After this apex, the hours of daylight again began to shrink toward Winter. Lammas, the Feast of the First Bread, marked the beginning of the harvest season, when the grains were cut and both processed and stored. The Autumnal Equinox, when the hours of daylight and darkness were again in balance, was often referred to as Harvest Home due to the fact that the mainstay of the crops were already harvested or were ready for harvesting. This was viewed as a time of abundance, and was the catalyst for the Fall celebrations we still see today. As the hours of daylight continued to decrease, it brought us back around to Samhain, the death of the old year and the birth of the new.

Weather-wise, there was the obvious overlap in weather patterns. For example, even though Lammas marked the first harvest and what was then thought of as the beginning of Autumn, the heat index often remained high well into September. By the same token, Imbolc (or more popularly Groundhog Day, marking the last six weeks of Winter) remained cold, the ground often covered with ice and snow, despite the fact that the first signs of Spring were evident.

It's easy to see how we lost track of the true seasonal phases in this modern world, where farming is no longer a leading industry.

Summer Soltise

As I am not a farmer or no nothing of farming I was led to believe that the first day of summer is 21st June. Even Stonehenge and British Heritage say the same. Can you please tell me why then it is the 20th June to a farmer and does that change yearly because there seems to be some confusion.

First day of summer

My birthday is June 21st, I will be 54, and I can NEVER remember a year that the first day of summer was NOT June 21st.

Me too

I've always remembered the 1st day of summer being June 21st also. I feel for you, especially on your birthday. My youngest was born on December 20, and I've always told him that it was the LAST day of fall. It would change a lot if it was the 1st day of winter suddenly. This changing of dates is nonsense. They should stick with the reason we added February 29 in the 1st place.

Me too, to both

But I will be 52. Happy birthday, Karen!

My birthday is also the 21st

My birthday is also the 21st and I have had the same experience .. It has ALWAYS been the 21st!

1st day of Summer ?

I am 75 years old and have always known the 1st day of summer was on June birthday in June 22nd, so it is something I have always paid attention to. Why is it the 20th of June this year?

First day of summer

Janetta, the summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer. That can occur from June 20th to June 22nd. It is far more common on the 21st so this year has an additional "rarity" but a June 22nd solstice would be far rarer. BTW, for most of the Eastern Hemisphere the solstice WILL be the 21st. This year the first FULL day of summer will be on the 21st (forget all those other posters - the summer solstice marks the first day of summer),

Summer Soltice

this proves two things, that everything revolves around the thinking ot eh Northern Hemisphere and not Summer in Australia, and secondly that time and calendars are relevant and humankind has had to make a reference point to create the counting of time and years. Otherwise how would people decide what point on a circles circumference is the begining


Hi Ron, FYI, The Old Farmer’s Almanac is a publication in North America; we sell our book in the United States and Canada. This is why we refer to Northern Hemisphere.

whew ! read all the way down

whew ! read all the way down to all comments and contradictions of who knows what and 'for sure' should never be questioned, not them, anyhow.

the slew of Information that may fit some and not others can all be combined in a delicious word-stew to share .... and served w/o pre-selections or arguments. Wouldn't that be a lovely 'share'? or a stomach-churning disturbance ?


Reading a lot of

Reading a lot of discussion-attempts to define- demands to be Right - and the usual banter of those who insist they Know Best Most...

we note the usual - infighting - to be RIGHT !
and reprimanding another for dissenting or repeating their 'beliefs' as thus being not the 'whole truth' but a slant-version

vs. someone else's authoritarian "facts"- as if that means these words/thoughts are absolute, True, only one True, and unquestionable because science and theorists never learn better.

and the Always amazing power-positioning themselves of how much each naturalist, liberalist, free-dom-demanders are claiming to Own and have the AUTHORITARIAN power to define and reject and publicly shame others. Only 1 right answer is allowed. Only 1 in-group of agreers know the answer. Only that writer is Right ! yet again....
Not only on these comments - same phenomena occurs many elsewheres too...each writer w/o noticing falls into the pattern of arguing They Know and They should be Believed and elevated,too.

No, we can't all 'get along'...obviously.

just Notice [here and elsewhere too] how much people love to argue publicly-exposed-visibly when they cant do it directly privately - to whomever.

wonder why ?
I do

Wow. I had to read that three

Wow. I had to read that three times to truly understand your vibe. Can't agree more.
I'm guessing they also argue privately, to whomever. You'll know them by their misery.

My ex would argue with the

My ex would argue with the cat. Seriously. I heard her one day when she thought I wasn't home.

If you're referring to the

If you're referring to the Midsummer/Summer Solstice/First Day of Summer comments, there really is no argument at all for those who care to observe reality.

The Summer Solstice is the astronomical apex of the Sun's annual journey, not the beginning. It is the middle of said energy tides, demonstrated by the fact that the days-- from that point-- begin to grow shorter, not increase. Ergo, the Summer Solstice is the middle of Summer, as its' older name, "Midsummer", tells us.

One may choose to view it differently, but if you want to be correct, based upon science, 21 June marks Midsummer. That is simply a fact, not an opinion. We do not decide these things, the solar system does.

I have no idea how the OFA came to designate "Midsummer" as being a few days after the Summer Solstice, nor what that designation is based on, but it's wrong. Sort of like saying Christmas Day is the middle of Autumn, then saying Christmas Eve falls on 27 December.

Public discourse

Welcome to Pendant heaven: the internet. This new medium is still evolving. Consider this to be analogous to the toddler stage of human development. "Me! me! me!, my toy!" The lack of direct personal speech allows us enough emotional distance to forget manners and civility. Eventually, only the thickest of skins will remain to do battle. Eventually, the medium will start to mature in the wake. Ladies and gentlemen will then find a means to connect on the net with gentility, sidestepping the browbeating, sanctimonious and self-righteous bores.

My thoughts of Summer

My thoughts of Summer Solstice/Midsummer/Litha/Apex of the Sun's Rays,

Sleeping with the window open to take in the sounds of wildlife.
Getting up early with the Suns Ray in my face waking me somewhat gently.
Having a fan running circulating the breeze I might not get at the moment.
Taking in the thunderstorms with the rain & lightening. And charging the atmosphere with negative ions for healing of the earth's body and all of creation.
Walking about the garden either on the porch or grounds and gently brushing my hand across each plant and sniffing that hand.
Setting on the table & chairs minerals, flowers & statuary that is pleasing to meditation during the stay whenever it is that day.
And finally gently looking forward to the Earth preparing to go into her Croning becoming the Grandmother.
Having been the Mother now, and being the young Maiden during the Spring.
Such are the thoughts.
Love, Peace and Healing to all Beings
Earth wise & Celestial

Summer is beautiful. The

Summer is beautiful. The summer storms, the late nights, the social activities. And more.

Especially the mosquitoes!

Especially the mosquitoes! x.x

OK - maybe I'm archaic (50)

OK - maybe I'm archaic (50) but... when I was a child it was "universally" acknowledged that the equinoxes were mid-season. Our little classroom picture-calendars showed these seasons, and our children's TV backed them up. I'm only talking about the '60s and'70s now - not the 11th century :)
Our seasons were:
Winter - November, December, January
Spring - February, March, April
Summer - May, June, July
Autumn - August, September, October
Consider all the poetry, movies, songs and stories which are about or refer to the seasons - they all back this up. Yes I have seen snow, here in the UK, in May - which is why it is memorable and talked about - because it is unexpected and at odds with the season.
Even the explanation of Astronomical seasons above backs this up. Surely by the time the equinoxes are happening (earth tilted to / away from the sun)that is evidently a "mid-point" of something - not the "start" of something - and if these dates have to be used as "starting points" why commandeer the seasons for this use? The seasons are defined by the light and weather.
June is, and has been for generations, Midsummer. As someone pointed out - refer to Shakespear!

I thinks it's more like

I thinks it's more like winter: Dec, Jan, Feb /spring: Mar, Apr, May/ summer: June, July, Aug/ fall: Sept, Oct, Nov. Midsummer to me seems more of a reference to the middle of the yr than the middle of a season. Maybe I'm wrong lol.

I agree. August is DEFINITELY

I agree. August is DEFINITELY still summer. Especially where I'm from: Texas.

I agree. Midsummer = Mid

I agree. Midsummer = Mid season. Not the start.

"When Razorium lizards all

"When Razorium lizards all come together, the first day of summer will be shredded into happiness." -Proverb

Summer begins in May ! Your

Summer begins in May !
Your Summer might officially begin on June 21 but
Here in the Deep South summer begins around
May 1. We start seeing temperatures in the upper
80's. Now it's June and temps are already in
the mid 90s with high humidity and killer heat indexes
in the triple digits. It's not a fun time.

The June 21 Summer Solstice

The June 21 Summer Solstice has nothing to do with how hot it is in the deep south or how chilly it still may be in the far It's the 1 day out of the year with the longest daylight!

The fact that Summer Solstice

The fact that Summer Solstice is the longest day proves the fact that it is the midpoint-- not the beginning-- of Summer, hence MIDsummer. If it were the beginning of Summer, the Suns' energy would not be reaching its' zenith and then beginning to recede, with the days growing shorter from that point.

We of the 21st century have so lost our way when it comes to even the most basic reality regarding correct seasonal observation.

Is there a name for when the

Is there a name for when the 1st day of summer (summer solstice) ends and the 2nd day of summer begins?

Yes. It's called midnight.

Yes. It's called midnight.



Let's not bring the "mid or

Let's not bring the "mid or start" argument here.

Summer Solstice Arrival Time

No, the start of Summer is NOT "midnight".
Summer in 2017 begins at 09:24 Pacific time, the exact time when the Earth axis is most tilted South towards the Sun.
It then starts moving back towards the North until the Winter solstice.

If the Summer Solstice is the

If the Summer Solstice is the first day of Summer, how come it's called Midsummer's Day? It can't be both the beginning and the middle of Summer.
Summer is the season that follows Spring and is followed by Fall (or Autumn). By age-old convention, in the Northern Hemisphere, the Summer months are June, July and August. The Summer Solstice has nothing to do with it.

Laurie, do you know of

Laurie, do you know of Shakespeare's great comic/romance play, "A Midsummer's Night Dream"? It takes place during the Summer Solstice, the longest daytime period of the year followed by the shortest nighttime period of the year in June...a time for magic, whimsy, beguilement, & fantasy.
"Midsummer" is also an agricultural term that indicates the 1/2 way mark between planting in the spring & harvesting crops in the fall :) You can check in the Oxford English Dictionary for further origin details.

Laurie, these are facets of

Laurie, these are facets of traditional reckoning of time. Light is steadily increasing up until the summer solstice, and as soon as the solstice has passed, daylight begins to decrease. So while it is the first day of summer by the almanac, by traditional reckoning of time the solstice is more naturally a midpoint: Midsummer.

The same happens at the winter solstice, when we sing "In the Bleak Midwinter." The winter solstice is the longest night of the year.

It helps, I think, to look at the natural year like a clock: the summer solstice is kind of like noon, or midday. The winter solstice is kind of like midnight. Hence midsummer and midwinter. It takes a bit of getting accustomed to, but these are old, old ideas more attuned to the natural seasons.

I talk about this traditional reckoning of time thing quite often in my Convivio Book of Days Blog, easily found through a web search. Best, John Cutrone

Laurie, I would recommend

Laurie, I would recommend checking out the "Wheel of the Year" which reflects a more accurate and ancient division of time and seasons. Pagans have celebrated these dates for centuries. The solstices and equinoxes are always at mid-points in the seasons. The popular calendar uses the four celestial events as a matter of convenience to mark four seasons. The "Wheel" divides the year more accurately for those who farm, and offers twice the reasons to celebrate.

Summer Start and Mid-Summer

Summer Start and Mid-Summer are just made up terms for the solstice. It is the sun at its zenith in the Northern Hemisphere. It doesn't matter if you call it "Sun Day!"
Yes, it used to be called Mid-Summer on this day. Now it is called the first day of summer. Not a big deal. I like thinking of it as the first day of summer due to the earth's lag time in temperature. The world and water heats during the May-July months making it generally hotter in August. We earthlings want to acknowledge to our young that summer is hot. Winter is cold. We have now made the solstice the start of summer because it corresponds to the hot-cold formula more regularly.
I like to call it baseball season!

Summer 2013 is an important

Summer 2013 is an important Summer because the house always wins meaning a deck of playing cards is divisible four ways! But the house lost in Miami last night so have a wonderful Summer 2013!

June 21st is a very special

June 21st is a very special day indeed for my firstborn child & only son arrived on this day in 1981. Everyone laughs when I remind them how auspicious that day truly was in our household! In 1981 you see June 21st was the longest day, first day of summer plus Father's Day. My husband became a Father for the first time that day! I can also attest to the length because my labor lasted for 20 hours! Memories made & memories yet to be made await us all each & everyday so please enjoy yourselves as this wonderous warm weather season begins!

Oh Wow, lots of things

Oh Wow, lots of things happened for on this day in 1981.
20 hr labor? Thats no fun. I am glad you made it through. Enjoy the summer :)



I live in o side ca and I

I live in o side ca and I will ccntinue. To kiss the sunset away as we do every day when as the sun sets on a beautiful day omg I love life,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I am a cancer girl you know that I am loving it,,,,,,,,,,,,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bring on summer solstice I love my man, and he loves me! He is the greatest man in the world or to watch him surf in to the sunset might be good as well or paddle out with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or go to the sun set fair on Thursday night. Enjoy your summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I was a youngster,

When I was a youngster, living in the northern latitudes, I place rocks on the north side of the house that marked the shadows of the summer and winter solstice and that of the equinox. While others celebrated the First Day of Spring, I celebrated the arrival of Sunshine on the rock equinox! The Day marked the moment when the sun arrived on OUR side of the equator! On that day I would skip school and in later years, take the day off work, in celebration!

But even at a young tender age, I had noticed that the rock nearest the house, would be in sunshine for only a few days. I watched the lengthening shadows after the summer solstice in June, and as a teen, realized that late June must actually be mid-summer!

I also knew it would be a short time before the sun would warm waters enough to go swimming! But the first day of summer meant school was out, and I would play and frolic
till the lengthening shadow nearly reached the rock of The Equinox!

That really is quite

That really is quite romantic.

To: The Old Man Dan Re:

To: The Old Man Dan
Re: When I was a youngster

Wow! What a wonderful memory! Thank you for sharing it here!


This sounds like a wonderful

This sounds like a wonderful thing to start doing with my family... The moments of memories like these are truly aspiring. Can you please tell me more about how it worked?

Since the tropic of cancer

Since the tropic of cancer marks the northward limit of the sun, and I live north of that line, how can the sun shine on the north wall of my house in the morning and afternoon in the summer?

At the summer solstice, the

At the summer solstice, the Sun is overhead at the Tropic of Cancer, which means that there will be no shadow at that location at that point in time. This is the farthest north the Sun will be overhead. (At any point north of this line, except at the pole where it is totally dark in winter, you will always have some shadow.)

Except for Hawaii, all states in the United States, as well as all of Canada, are north of the Tropic of Cancer. In summer, the Sun will rise in the northeast and set in the northwest. However, the arc the Sun travels in the sky during the day is tilted toward the south, and in summer part of that arc crosses the east-west line to hover in the south. So, from sunrise to sunset in the summer, the Sun will be located in the sky in these approximate directions relative to your position:

Northeast (sunrise)
East (when the Sun crosses the East-West line)
South (at local noon, Sun is highest overhead for the day)
West (when the Sun again crosses the East-West line)
Northwest (sunset)

So, as I understand it, for a northern wall of a house with no obstructions, you'll need the Sun to be in a northerly direction. In the continental US and Canada, this happens in summer in the early morning (about northeast) and late afternoon (about northwest).

Although I totally agree that

Although I totally agree that June 20th etc is actually mid -summer,and Dec 21st is actually the middle of winter, I also take note that statistically the highest and lowest average temperatures usually occur Aug 1st-6th, and coldest, Feb 1 thru Feb 5th. This is due to the earth needing time to heat up, or cool down. Like a pot of water on a fire, once it heats up, and the heat is removed, the water takes a while to cool off. Thus Gregour and Pup above in their comments are quite correct. Look at the average tempatures and you will see that they are the highest in the first week of August, and lowest the first week of February. This is because the Earth needed time to heat/cool and the waining less direct sun has little effect until the heat or coolness it retained starts to wear off. As such the June 21st/ Dec 21st dates are not to far off LOGICALLY since the maximum effect is reached 6 weeks later.

I'm mad!!! Since when is the

I'm mad!!! Since when is the first day of Summer on June 20??? My birthday ( and my daughter's) is on June 21 and THAT is the first day of Summer! Has been forever. Summer used to slide in about 1AM on June 21...we are bummed When did this abomination happen? Is this "global warming"? Does anyone have an answer?

It's not exactly the same

It's not exactly the same time every year. If the year has a leap day (Feb 29), the summer soltace will occur on June 21. The year prior to leap year, the summer soltace will happen on June 20. Also, it varies depending on your time zone.

The first day of summer (or

The first day of summer (or any of the seasons for that matter) are not calendar events, they are astronomical events. Summer starts when the Sun reaches its furthest point north of the equator (the Tropic of Cancer). This year that is at 1:04am EDT on June 21. However, if you live in Mountain Time (like I do) it will be at 11:04pm on June 20. It has nothing at all to do with "global warming."

It's different every year and

It's different every year and not just for the summer solstice.

All the comments,

All the comments, meteorological, astronomical, and historical are science combined with tradition. It is the first OFFICIAL day of summer! Celebrate!!

Anyone familiar with the

Anyone familiar with the ancient Chinese calendar. I always remembered that spring began when the sap starts running, around the first of Feb. (Groundhog's to the west), spring beginning when the life energy begins to "rise" again out of the earth pushing sap and growth. You can actually "feel" the life energy in the air around that time. And likewise all the other seasons where earlier due to this theory. To me it is a very "energetic" based calendar, I like that becasue thats all everything is - energy (Enstein).

A little insight into the

A little insight into the Druid outlook...
Summer Solstice “Litha”
Litha, Mid-summer. The summer solstice. June 21st. (This year on the 20th. Actually)
A time of great magical power. This holiday is also known as Mid-Summer festival.
The Cauldron is the main focal point in this celebration; it is ringed with fresh flowers and filled with spring water. This celebration is also a time for rededicating or initiations to the craft. A major symbolic gesture in ritual a sword is plunged into the cauldron, that sword would be used to anoint new members into the craft or to honor advancement in the craft.
Bonfire leaping is done to celebrate the renewal of the season and what this season brings forth from the Earth. It is also said it gives you luck for the coming year.
The first fresh herbs are hung around the fire to be blessed and cleansed from the smoke. After the herbs have been cleansed they are placed on the altar for blessings. Mugwort is one of the leading old school herbs and if you can find some really makes the ritual sing.
Mirrors are placed around the fire or altar to reflect the sun or candle light.
The traditional colors for altar and such are white, orange, and red.
Traditionally this celebration was started at high noon and would continue into the wee hours of morn. Modern Wiccans try to at least have a feast and celebration during mid day when the sun god is highest in the sky. The green Man is honored during the celebration as well and his renewed energies and the preparations for fall harvest are planned.

Thank you for posting your

Thank you for posting your comment. I appreciate learning more about the older traditions. They just resonate for me.

Thanks for a little herbal

Thanks for a little herbal older tradition info shared here ...amongst the disputers of who know what for sure vs. giving the gift of what their traditions teach. good comment.

Living in Alaska we get 22

Living in Alaska we get 22 hrs of sun on the solstice. Nothing like bbqing outside after midnight with full sun! The sad part is after the solstice, we start losing daylight. In the winter we get 5 hrs and that's not much!

Jesus was born in "April" or

Jesus was born in "April" or the first full moon after the spring solstice. An old Jewish guy told me that. But if you read the Bible, he really was born in the spring because it coincided with tax collecting and shepherds in the fields.

I hit the wrong reply button.

I hit the wrong reply button. The comment above should be one main comment down. Please excuse me.

Why were shepherds in the

Why were shepherds in the fields overnite at the time? Lambing season.

They would have no reason to be out in the fields overnite in December, which even in Palestine can be pretty cold especially at night.

That is always Passover, and

That is always Passover, and it is the day He was crucified. It is the first full moon after the Spring equinox. The sun is directly over the equator at the two equinoxes, and stops at the Tropic lines at the solstices, from the perspective of the ecliptic.

And Ketchican Alaska only 17

And Ketchican Alaska only 17 hours of Sun in June.

My kids used to get

My kids used to get frustrated with me for celebrating May 1 as the start of summer, August 15 as the start of fall, November 1 as the start of Winter, and February 2 as the start of Spring. As many readers have noted, however, the cross-quarter days do make more sense as the starts of seasons, with the mid-points being equinoxes and solstices. (That one should celebrate the start of summer just as the days start to get shorter is simply bizarre!) The Church in her wisdom marked these days as well, drawing on ancient tradition, with the summer solstice around the time of John the Baptist's birth ("he must increase, but I must decrease") followed 6 months later by the celebration of Jesus' birth, and preceded 3 months earlier (vernal equinox) by the Annunciation, which would have announced to Mary the birth 9 months later (Dec 25) of her son. (The Church supposed that the annunciation to Zechariah of John's birth occurred about September 25, i.e., about the time of the high feast of Yom Kippur in the Temple. Of course, Mar 25 (or thereabouts) was also the time for the events of Good Friday/Easter so the Church also understood Jesus to have been conceived about the time of his death and resurrection. May 1 was the feast of Saint Joseph, concluding the summer with the feast of Mary (Aug 15). Winter began with the remembrance of All the Saints who have died in Christ and concluded with the Feast of the Purification of Mary (Feb 2). Yes, the ancients -- from sages to farmers -- were MUCH more aware than most of us are of the cycles of the seasons and what they can teach us and how we can see in them a much greater teaching about things that transcend time.

Wow...That is the most

Wow...That is the most heretical view of Christian teachings I have ever heard! Talk about mixing pagan and Christian views! John was not talking about seasons - he was pointing out that the Son of God was more important than he was (it was very literal). The rest sounds like some kind of dogmatic mumbo jumbo.

No offense intended here, but

No offense intended here, but the entire paradigm of Christianity is filled with mixtues of Paganism and what eventually became Christianity. The early (yet forming) Church loved "dogmatic mumbo jumbo", and yes, they did indeed adjust their liturgical calendar to match up with existing Pagan celebrations, as to make the transition from the Old Religions to the New Religion more acceptable to the masses. I suggest you read up on the tempest that was first century Christianity, and how the failing Roman Empire became involved and heavily influenced things. I would especially suggest you take a close look at the Council of Nicaea, as well as subsequent councils, and how the Bible was put together and edited, and the beliefs of the New Religion were voted on and eventually shaped and defined. You'll find a lot of Greek Paganism in there. It's a fascinating study, and one well worth undertaking.

Kind of like Westeros in Game

Kind of like Westeros in Game of Thrones: "By the old Gods and the New" and even a third one "God of Light"! Yeesh, talk about turbulent times.

It may sound heretical to you

It may sound heretical to you sadly but it is all completely true which shows how well the concept of "take over" worked. Christians had to organize their new religion and make it legit and they had to bury the old religions. One of the ways they used to do this, amongst others, was to take and revamp the pagan calendars. It is not heretical at all, just fact.

Very insightful and informed

Very insightful and informed post. Too bad this is not well known or accepted by traditional Christians. I am Christian, but understand the Church, ran by men, has deceived, killed, and misdirected millions of believers. They melded paganism and the bible and that is the reason so many Christian holidays coincide with much more ancient Pagan holidays and important dates.

I love this article. Summer

I love this article. Summer to me means time with family, a much slower pace, enjoying the out of doors, more excercise outside, bike rides, running and really having a lot of fun! YEAH Summer!

I think you might consider

I think you might consider rephrasing "There is a lag time between sunlight being produced and it actually hitting Earth." The lag time is only about 8 minutes and 19 seconds from when it is produced to when it actually hits earth. You may have chosen your words better, and what I think you meant, by saying that the sun's energy is stored in the earth's atmosphere and oceans, and this stored heat continues to dissipate after the summer solstice to keep the earth warm even until later in the summer. The opposite happens six months later in the winter, as this "lag" period keeps the earth cooler longer, even after the nights get shorter.

A photon 'produced' in the

A photon 'produced' in the sun may bounce around for a thousand years before it breaches and can then begin the short journey here.

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. We have revised our copy to (hopefully) make things clearer.

Thank you, Val Popov-- all

Thank you, Val Popov-- all that you state is true. That said, again, none of these considerations have any bearing whatever upon the Solstices. They are when they are, and they are always the mid-point of the Suns' astronomical cycle.

you mean the solstices are

you mean the solstices are the high and low point respectively, the mid points are the equinoxes.

There are several

There are several interpretations as to when each season begins.
In North America, calendars commonly use the astronomical definition. It is true that various countries, cultures, religions, organizations, and individuals may use definitions other than the astronomical. Because we are an almanac that provides astronomical data, however, that’s why we use the astronomical definition. For our weather predictions, however, we start with a more meteorological definition by providing Nov-March “winter” predictions, Apr-May for spring, June-Aug for summer and Sept/Oct for fall. Hope this is helpful. --Your OFA editors

No, you do not use the

No, you do not use the astronomical definition, as the astronomical definition places the middle of Summer on June 20th and the middle of Winter on the 21st of December this year, with no variance whatsoever. If you're calling June 20th the "beginning of Summer" and December 21st the "Beginning of Winter", I'm really not sure what definition you're using (possibly rolling dice or consulting a magic eight ball), but it most certainly is not the astronomical definition.

Every kid knows that summer

Every kid knows that summer starts when school ends. Therefore, every school district defines summer differently.

Accept that summer is like pornography, as the Supreme Court Justice said, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

How true!

How true!

Okaaay i may off missed it

Okaaay i may off missed it out haaa, but i live in south england, when does our summer start?!

This rain is doing my heading, this time last year it was hot and sunny. xD

Summer in the Northern

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere begins on May 1st. June 20th (or some years 21st, as the solstices vary) is actually Midsummer or the middle of the Summer season, just as the Winter Solstice is Midwinter, or the middle of Winter. If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are reversed and our Midsummer is their Midwinter (June), while our Midwinter is their Midsummer (December).

Rest assured, it starts on

Rest assured, it starts on May Day, same as everywhere else in the Northern Hemisphere. It may be wet, even snowy, that doesn't matter. The Solstice will occur on 20 June regardless of what the local weather is doing. Based on that fact, the Summer season begins on the first of May. We still had snow on the ground this past Spring Equinox, but it was still the Spring Equinox, we didn't try to tell the Haevens they had to hold up on allowing the hours to balance until the weather felt right.

Please explain something to

Please explain something to me. The Summer Solstice or Mid Summer's Day where the sun is at it's highest is surely the middle of summer as the name implies not the start of summer? As the winter solstice is the middle of winter not the start, also the vernal and autumnal equinoxes are the middle of spring and autumn respectively. Your seasons appear to be about a month and a half out.

The solstice does indeed

The solstice does indeed herald the beginning of the astronomical season. Which season? It depends on where you live!
At the June solstice:
* Summer starts in the Northern Hemisphere, and winter begins in the Southern Hemisphere.
* The North pole is tipped 23-1/2 degrees toward the Sun.
* The Sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer at local noon.
At the December solstice:
* Winter starts in the Northern Hemisphere, and summer begins in the Southern Hemisphere.
* The South Pole is tipped 23-1/2 degrees toward the Sun.
* The Sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at local noon.

Not to sound contrary, but

Not to sound contrary, but this response fails to answer the question of why such an iconic publication as the Old Farmers' Almanac would deliberately choose to mis-name Midsummer and falsely designate it "the beginning of Summer". We understand the differences in the seasonal cycles in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, with our Winter being their Summer and vice verse. That has nothing to do with when Summer begins in either hemisphere.

When I addressed this issue directly to the editorial staff, I was given the same line about the hemispheres, along with "we use the astronomical date". Well, 20 June IS the astronomical Midsummer, there is no other. The Sun reaches its' high point for the year, and the manifestation of the Summer Solstice marks the immediate reversal of the waxing energy of the Sun, as at that point the Sun's energy begins to wane, and the days begin to grow shorter. How anyone could get that this is the "beginning" of Summer has me utterly confused. Show me a logical reason for this and I'll accept it. Otherwise, I would advise getting it right by dropping all this "beginning of Summer on the Solstice" nonsense. Summer as a season began on the first of May-- June 20th this year is the middle of Summer, and Summer will end on the Autumnal Equinox in September.

One would like to believe the Old Farmers' Almanac would be, of all almanacs and calendars, the one we could depend on to be accurate. By designating the Solstices as the "beginning of" Winter and Summer, you're only discrediting your publication.

Midsummer is the pagan name

Midsummer is the pagan name for the summer solstice. it is inaccurate. Same for midwinter. Midwinter is more properly dated as February 1st and called Imbolc and Midsummer is on August 1st and is called Lughnasadh. Misinterpretation of the Pagan names and dates have caused much confusion on this topic. Summer Solstice is called Litha and winter solstice is called Yule. Note these pagan names for the seasonal break ups are only for the northern hemisphere. The entire pagan calendar is as follows: Yule (winter solstice) December 19-22, Imbolc (Midwinter) February 1st, Ostara (Spring Equinox)March 19-22, Beltane (Mid Spring) May 1st, Litha (Summer Solstice) June 19-22, Lughnasadh (Midsummer) August 1st, Mabon (Autumnal Equinox) September 19-22, Samhain (Mid Autumn) October 31st, and bringing us back to Yule.

You are right.

You are right.

Actually, Midsummer and

Actually, Midsummer and Midwinter are not Pagan terms, they're just the old terms for the high point of Summer and the high point of Winter (much as fortnight is an older term once frequently used, but is now mainly considered archaic). The Neo-Pagan revival brought Midsummer and Midwinter into that movement as they were adopted as proper names for the festivals in some traditions, but they aren't particular to Paganism and never were, as they continued to be used long after the establishment of Christianity as the dominant religion.

When looking at the whole

When looking at the whole year it is more accurate to think of there being 8 days to celebrate. The soltice's, equinox's a nd the 4 quarter points. Then th changing into and out of each season and when we are experiencing the fullness of each season is more clearly defined. May day is the official end of sping beginning of summer, and the solstice is the hight and middle of summer, August first is then actually the begging of fall and end of summer And in September at the equinox we are in the midst of fall. And so it goes every six weeks e are in the newnes of either the waxing or the waning of the season.

I completely agree with you!!

I completely agree with you!! Thank you for making an educational response.

Yes, the definition of when a

Yes, the definition of when a season begins can vary between countries, cultures, organizations, and individuals. For example, the ancient Celts considered equinoxes and solstices (called quarter days) as the midway points of the seasons. Their cross-quarter days (halfway between quarter days) were the beginning of the seasons. Astronomically speaking, however, the seasons begin at the equinoxes and solstices, which define four unique points along Earth’s orbit, in which the Northern or Southern Hemisphere tilts toward the Sun (summer), away from the Sun (winter), or is neutral--neither leaning toward nor away from the Sun (spring, autumn).

An astronomical definition does not directly take into account what is going on within Earth’s atmosphere. Other definitions focus on how the Sun’s intensity (energy) or heat affects the surface. A meteorological definition of seasons, for example, often is based on temperature. An international meteorological definition separates the year into groups of three months: March 1 is the beginning of spring; June 1 starts summer; September 1, autumn; and December 1, winter. However, days of greatest warmth and cold (on average), or length of season, can vary by region depending on their proximity to water, latitude, prevailing winds, etc.

Other seasonal definitions take into account annual responses by plants and animals. Or, define the seasons according to religious or cultural criteria.

For The Old Farmer’s Almanac, because we are a calendar of the heavens, we officially use the astronomical definition. But, we certainly agree that there is more than one way to define when the seasons begin.

So let's see. There are 52

So let's see. There are 52 weeks in a year, meaning if all seasons equal, they all last 13 weeks. If you are saying that summer runs from May 1st to the fall equinox (approx. Sep 21st), then you are claiming that summer lasts about 20 1/2 weeks. I assume you say Winter runs from Nov. 1st to the spring equinox. You should make it more clear that you think summer and winter lasts 20 1/2 weeks and fall and spring only 5 1/2 weeks - a theory I've never heard or you should go back and do your math before beating up the almanac.

You are absolutely correct,

You are absolutely correct, June 20th (or 21st, as the date varies) is actually MID-Summer, with Summer having begun on May Day or May 1st. Our modern almanacs, calendars, and often weather people are simply wrong when they say "Summer begins on June 20th". As often happens in our modern world, the older traditions and definitions-- usually more accurate due to our ancestors having been far better attuned to the Earth and her cycles-- have become blurred in the rat race we now find ourselves in the midst of. I'm not sure how those who are supposed to know these things ever got something so simple so wrong, but they did. By the way, 20 or 21 December is also Midwinter, the middle of Winter, and not the "First Day of Winter", which is actually the 1st of November.

Being a meteorologist, we

Being a meteorologist, we work with climatology a lot. Temperatures across North America can be placed into "Meteorological" seasons. Meteorological Summer begins June 1st, Fall begins September 1st and so on. Sometimes you'll hear the local TV weather person mention this.

Hi, Ted, thanks for the info.

Hi, Ted, thanks for the info.

If this is the case, I would suggest all the meteorologists get together and learn that the "meteorlogical" seasons do not reflect the astronomical seasons (anymore than chill factors accurately reflect actual temperatures), and address this in your broadcasts. I feel this is precisely one of the major reasons so many are confused regarding the true beginnings and midpoints of both Summer and Winter.

As for your "Meteorological Summer" beginning on June 1st, my garden and yard would beg to differ. We planted around the first of May, and by the first of June everything was in full growth phase.

One last thing... if you're saying "Meteorological Summer" begins June 1st, why do all of our local meteorologists continue to try to claim Summer begins on June 20th?

Wouldn't it just be a lot simpler (and far less confusing) if everyone-- the meteorologists, the almanacs, the calendars, and whomever else might be considered "knowledgable" in this field-- just admitted they had it wrong for a time and went back to the true and accurate designations? I think most of the public would appreciate it greatly. I certainly know I would.

You know, Lyndon, I agree

You know, Lyndon, I agree 100%. That has been bothering me for a long time, too. I just get so upset when everyone gets it wrong. I mean, I could be outdoors playing with my dog or going to a pool party, but instead I stay indoors and blog on the computer to split hairs because this subject is so important to me. Those dang meteorologists!!

depends on if you are going

depends on if you are going by the pagan calendar or the astronomical calendar. And which pagans you talk to.

Each season lasts 13 weeks or

Each season lasts 13 weeks or 91 days. So the MiD-winter day would have to be about the 45th/46th day of the season. If Nov. 1st was the first day of winter then Dec 21st would be about 51 days out - how could that be the middle ?

People keep arguing about when the sun starts to head back the other direction whether you want to call that the beginning of a cycle or the middle - it really doesn't matter, it's the same event happening at the same time as decided by God and earth and nature. What overlay measuring system any man, religion or culture uses to measure how it fits into their own lives doesn't change anything.

I 100% agree with you, but

I 100% agree with you, but it's really just semantics at this point. All the pagan cultures that compiled the basic mapping for our present-day meteorology have been wiped out, and their holidays misconstrued. But of course the names MIDsummer and MIDwinter are a clue to their ancient meanings. Not to mention, think about the weather? And "Groundhog's Day"? It was originally called Imbolc and marks the change of the weather from winter to spring.

The pagan cultures may have

The pagan cultures may have disappeared, but the beliefs are, obviously, still held and the Feast Days still celebrated by many. This is very similar to the misconception of when the new century began. If you really consider it, the old millennium actually ended Dec 31, 2000 the last day of the 2000th year, and the new millennium actually began Jan 1, 2001, or the first day of the 3000th. We do say 21st century, do we not? But everybody celebrated it (and feared it) a year early. If the world really was going to come to the end with the end of the 20th century, would it be 'just semantics' if that little surprise hit us on Dec 31, 2001? We live with our heads so stuffed with what we hear and read, that we don't bother to think things through for ourselves anymore. (When was the last time someone actually counted out change to you instead of just looking at the cash register and saying "Your change is $x.xx"?) It's a good thing that the Earth doesn't depend on our arbitrary naming of things to carry on her grand schedule!

There were a lot of people

There were a lot of people that thought it Dec 31,1999 was the end of the century. Most realized it actually wasn't but it was the first time we actually hit the year 2000 that was celebrated. The fear was not so much the start of a new century but how computers were not set up to recognize anything beyond the year 1999. If you were a computer programmer you would have spent months to years trying to write programs to keep everything running.

You've got yourself in a fog

You've got yourself in a fog (I hope you don't drive as you'd probably drive the wrong way on a freeway and kill someone). Listen up, Fog-Bound....both Solstices and both Equinoxes signify the beginning (not the middle) of their respective seasons.
Got it? I can't draw you a picture here (you'll just have to trust me on this, F.B.)

Well, Casey, you are half

Well, Casey, you are half right. The Equinoxes mark the balance of the length of day and night, one in the Spring and one in the Fall, so one could say they mark the astronomical beginning of those two respective seasons. However, the Solstices mark the high point and the low point of the Sun as it effects the Earth. In the Northern Hemisphere, Winter Solstice marks the shortest day at the same time it marks the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere. This rule is reversed for the Summer Solstice. Each marks the MID-point of these two solar cycles, not the beginning of either.

Start of summer or winter

Start of summer or winter depends on WHERE you are if you go by weather & feel...Northern border states, inland, will be colder than States on the ocean, for example. Ocean states will still get winter, but not as dates are chosen for OTHER reasons.

If we went by "weather and

If we went by "weather and feel", there'd be no point at all in even acknowledging the Solstices or Equinoxes. In fact, I guess using that sort of logic, we would have to hold off Christmas until we had snow and Easter until it was fair enough to hold egg hunts.

There is a time lag, and two

There is a time lag, and two different "calendars" (as in, reference systems) ... (& I live in the Northern Hemisphere, seasons are reversed in the Southern, which might help, or just add confusion) ... if we lived anywhere off of the Earth entirely, we could still measure those astronomical (and astrological) cardinal points OF THE Earth's celestial orbit, so in fact some now refer to that as the Northern Solstice (and Midwinter is the Southern Solstice) ... later as the sun angle reduces, we are still warming more than we cool off into space, so the weather calendar, as it were, for the "pastoral year" makes more sense for us who actually go outside sometimes, and it is offset from this, by the amount you mention ... I DO NOT know why meteorologists join in the sloppy habit of calling that the "Official Start of Summer", but for example, Meteorological Summer began on June 1 and will cover the "summer months" as we experience them here (North America).

for example I notice in one

for example I notice in one of these, this Almanac observes both, one for reporting astronomical events correctly, and meteorological seasons re: a weather calendar, which makes good sense.

lets not bring meteorologists

lets not bring meteorologists in on this they start summer on May 31st, Memorial day, and fall on Labor day August 31st, winter on thanksgiving or soon there after and spring on March 1st. Meteorologists have just muddied the waters.

I live in Arizona. When the

I live in Arizona. When the temperatures are going to heat up above 110 degrees, the little red ants get VERY busy and aggressive. They furiously build new nests and attack anything that moves near the entrance. The rest of the year they are hardly noticeable.

Signs of Summer - contribues

Signs of Summer - contribues to a peaking of natural systems. Heat this year seems a little early but there are records that say that is not unusual and sets no records. Snow is a little late since some flooding is now happening in the mid-west and upper Mississippi Valley, contrary to opinion that flood is not nearly over. Piled dirt does not a levee make, it takes aged piled dirt with roots and natural compaction to hold back water, got to be there long enough to mature some or we are just plain lucky when it works and is a new pile of dirt. Every things else is in vain. I suspect all animals and plants have sense to know summer soltice where ever they are and that intelligence or wisdom is handed down from generation to generation in every species with exception, humans, we don't seem to learn from practice or experience, animals and plants have seen success or mortality of their current nesting fruiting attampts and know time is running out for them in relation to have a successful nesting with a living healthy chick or young or seed for next season and that food, some of this seasons new growth, will become a little more scarce with change in atmosphere and climate rotations, having been eaten as a young or maturing enough to hid, fight back or jsut out run others oong neough to grow up some. It is when plants, arid and aquatic should be matured or fruiting if they are going to repopulate with enough excess to foster a new generation that must wait for a freeze or some kind of reinstituation of vitality to grow anew again. Plants and animals like us have a sense of night, day, cold, hot and in between; wet, dry, windy and calm, bright sun, cloudy, raining, drought, and adjust commonly and intuititively. They use it like we use it, they for life processes, we for work, play, good, bad and in between reasons however they like God said subdue it,, he didn't say kill it all, but enough to get by. Humans do more to quell nature: making hot when it is cold, making cold when it is hot, wet where water should not be, us where it is unhospitable and us where it is unethecial, killing out of anget and sickness and when not hungry. We do this in church, halls of congress, in or out of uniform, in our homes, bedrooms and living places, in our use of things and in our behavior.
Summer soltice is any other day that is naturally hot in most places on this side and on the other end of earth, winter soltice, is cold in most places. Luckly the deviding line is the equator where weather and climate is made, even the cold ends of earth is the result of what happens near the center of earth and is possibly driven due to rotation of earth , that centrificual rotation that spins every thing aerodinamicly and the only fully established method of energy and force of a natural claim to sustainablity, it spins floational and air bornes out as far as it can go making kenetic energy that does drive climate and atmosphere and from that we get all our variables in summer, winter, and climate exchanges making weather. One of two most important days in our rotation, the other one winter soltice. How lucky can we get.

Wow, just relax and enjoy

Wow, just relax and enjoy it.