Yesterday, Thursday the 21st of June was the summer solstice. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year. The word comes from 2 Latin words, ‘Sol’ and ‘Sistit’, meaning Sun and Stand. It gets this name from being the longest day of the year, when the earths axis is tilted most towards the sun during orbit. The summer solstice may occur on slightly different days each year. This because our calendar does not exactly match the astronomical patterns of the planet. Our calendar has a 365 day per year system, however the movement of the planet around the sun is not that exact. This is the reason for the leap year, which adds a day every 4th year, because the movement of the earth around the sun works out close to 365.25 calendar days. But there is also the conundrum of the tropical year, or solar year. This is a more complicated measurement of the relative movements between the sun and the earth.
Summer solstice will occur on either the 20th or 21st of June, depending on the aforementioned variables. On the date of the longest day of the year, thousands flock to stone henge, a sight typically restricted at all other times of the year. The site itself is one of the many incredible relics of ancient history that exist on our planet. Archaeological institutions and educational bodies are often quite happy to ignore mystifying aspects of such megalithic sites. Sadly, this perpetuates a culture of dismissal and ignorance about the very mysterious ancient past of our planet. There are big holes in our knowledge of what was going on when these monuments were built, yet often these gaps in knowledge, instead of being celebrated as invigorating opportunities of discovery, are papered over with weak connections of existing facts.