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Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Solstice, an important day, through the ages.

According to the television weather person this morning it is the first full day of summer. Summer is filled with happy memories, and we, here at Life Explained, love it. Of course, it was kicked off by Father's Day... wait, that isn't right, it was kicked off by the Summer Solstice.

During the June Solstice (Summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and Winter in the Southern) the sun is at it's furthest distance from the Equator.  The Earth's north pole is tilted directly towards the sun, at about 23.5 degrees. Which explains why all of the stuff kept sliding off the table yesterday, and the stairs seemed a little more difficult to climb.

Throughout the ages the Solstice has been a magical, mystical time.  People have celebrated by giving expensive, wonderful gifts to their Father... wait, hold on that isn't right. In Europe, people used to celebrate the Solstice by lighting fires to keep away the evil spirits. 

The ancient Egyptians felt the Summer Solstice was particularly important because it ushered in Sirius the brightest star in the night sky.  Shortly after the appearance of Sirius the Nile would overflow and flood the lands, which nourished the soil, and provided much of the food the Egyptians needed to survive. Obviously, the Egyptians were very good to their Father, giving him many wonderful gifts to celebrate...  wait, that wasn't what happened, at all.  As soon as the the Egyptian priests saw Sirius they declared the new year had begun.

China, Mesopotamia, Europe, the Americas, all had unique, spiritual celebrations for the the Solstice, in fact many people believe Stonehenge was built as a gift for the Druids daddio... wait, that isn't what anybody thinks.  Many people still believe that Stonehenge was built to predict the arrival of the Solstice.  Nobody had an Apple watch in those days, which would make an excellent gift, you know.

That concludes today's lesson on The Summer Solstice.  Tune in tomorrow when we discuss the do's and dont's of Fourth of July gift giving, or Don't forget Dad a true American Hero.