The Summer Solstice is here – the longest day of 2016 for anyone living in north of the equator. Here in Minnesota, and around the rest of country, we’ll expect to see 15 hours of sunlight.

The solstice, or official first day of summer, will commence at 22:34 UTC (5:34 CT). The sun will be directly over the Tropic of Cancer, the farthest north the sun gets in the sky.

This year’s solstice is also marked with a strawberry moon, the first since 1967. The strawberry moon is when the full moon occurs in late June. This moon is no different than any other full moon, but this moon officially commences strawberry season. The next time this will happen is 2062.

The summer solstice has many links to ancient cultural practices as different cultures have celebrated it being symbolic of renewal, fertility and harvest.

In Greek mythology, the summer solstice specifically pays tribute with the Prometheia Festival or gifting Athena’s statues. All around the world many cultures celebrate the summer solstice with feasts, picnics, dance, and music.

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