Summer solstice activities

By Liann Bobechko »Liann Bobechko

June 20th, 2011

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Photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video. Image shows surface of the Sun.

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It’s almost here! Tomorrow is the summer solstice, which means it’s the longest day of the year (in the northern hemisphere). Not only that, but the sun’s rays are at their strongest, coming in directly from above (so don’t forget the sunscreen!).

At the winter solstice, we have the smallest number of hours of sun (for those of us north of the equator), but with each passing day the days get longer, by a few minutes each day. At the spring and fall equinox, the dark and light are pretty much evenly divided, anywhere you go on the earth. Then the day length just keeps adding minutes until it hits its max at the summer solstice.

Our good old sun: it’s reached it’s peak, it’s hit it’s stride, and is on top of it’s game. Go, sun, go!

How do you mark the summer solstice? Here are a few ideas for how to celebrate:

- wake up at sunrise, and stay up for sunset (if you plan to do both, some of you cottage kids may need to grab a nap sometime during the day) Go here to find out the times for sunrise and sunset at your location.

- put on a play telling a story about the sun

- make Sunshine Tea (put 6-8 teabags—and some honey if you like— into about 4 litres of cold water in a covered glass container and leave in the sun for 4 or so hours, or until it’s strong enough. Take out the teabags and chill. Shake—to mix the honey—and serve over ice.) Have a Sunshine Tea Party.

- make a stained-glass window craft: 1. cut out shapes or “windows” into a piece of cardboard (or construction paper), 2. glue pieces of coloured tissue paper onto the back of the cardboard, covering the windows, 3. hang up where the sun will shine through.

- make a sundial (here’s how)

- dress up in sun-inspired costumes and put on a parade

Happy official, celestial start to summer!

 


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