The summer solstice is the official beginning of our warmest season. In normal times this is when school and college finish for the year, we take a break from work, and Spain welcomes most of its 18 million tourists. There are festivals, carnivals and many special sports and cultural events. But this year is different.
The coronavirus epidemic means summer 2020 will not be the same as past summers. Most events have been cancelled or postponed. No one knows how many tourists will visit.
Those tourists who do arrive will discover that things are not the same as before. Masks will be compulsory in public places where social distance cannot be maintained. Museums and galleries will admit fewer people. And even going to the beach will be different. For example, Benidorm, one of the country’s busiest resorts, is introducing a reservation system. Its beaches are being divided into squares of four metres and to use one you will need to reserve it online in advance.
But some things won’t change. There will be many long, hot, sunny days and we all will be outside as much as possible. Summer is here. 🌞
the summer solstice
The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. Here in Spain, we will enjoy over 15 hours of sunlight.
Summer solstice usually falls between 20-22 June. It is the start of the astronomical summer. It occurs when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. While we celebrate the summer solstice, our friends in the southern hemisphere will be having their winter solstice.
Traditionally, the summer solstice has held great significance in spiritual circles, with religious groups such as the Pagans worshipping the power of the sun and how it is necessary for life.
Stonehenge is one of the ancient wonders of the world. It is around 5,000 year old and became a World Heritage Site in 1986.
It is a circle of huge stones. No-one knows for certain the reason why it was built. There have been many theories, stories and myths as people try to explain its origins and function.
On the summer solstice, the sun rises behind the Heel Stone which is the ancient entrance to the Stone Circle. The sunlight shines directly into the centre of the monument. This has been celebrated at Stonehenge for thousands of years.
the seasons in English
- autumn (fall in American English)