The Longest Day of the Year!
The Summer Solstice is celebrated between June 20-22. This year, it is on Wednesday, June 20th.
It is officially the first day of the summer season! In the Northern Hemisphere, the sun is directly above North Pole, making it the longest day of the year, with the most daylight.
Ancient cultures believed that burning fires would keep them safe from evil spirits on the Summer Solstice. People in the Middle Ages picked flowers and other plants on the solstice because they thought it would heal illnesses. Stonehenge, a prehistoric stone monument in England, is a popular place to visit on the Summer Solstice. There is also an ancient sun temple in Cairo, Egypt that is associated with the Summer Solstice. Other traditions include dancing around a “maypole” (a wooden pole decorated with flowers). In Sweden, the Summer Solstice is a major holiday, even more popular than Christmas!
Learn more about the Summer Solstice with these ESL lessons:
5 Minute English: Summer Solstice lesson
Short reading with vocabulary and comprehension questions
One Stop English: Festivals – Summer Solstice
Brief article about the history of the Summer Solstice
ESLVideo: Secrets of Stonehenge
Video with comprehension questions