21st June: International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice | Daily Current Affairs 2021
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21st June: International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice

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International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice

International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice is observed globally on 21st June every year.

Highlights:

  • The day is observed to create awareness about Solstices and equinoxes and to highlight their significance in various religious and ethnic cultures.
  • Recently, June 21 was observed as International Yoga Day which coincided with the summer solstice this year.
  • June 21- this day is referred to as the summer solstice, the longest day of the summer season.
  • It occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer.
  • The solstices and equinoxes symbolize the fertility of the land, agricultural and food production systems, cultural heritage and their millenary traditions.

Background:

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) acknowledged that the celebration of those events is a mark of the unity of the cultural heritage and centuries-long traditions, and further plays a significant role in strengthening the ties among peoples on the basis of mutual respect and the ideals of peace and good-neighbourliness.
  • Therefore, UNGA adopted the resolution A/RES/73/300 on 20th June 2019 and proclaimed the 21st June of every year as the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice in its different manifestations.

About Solstice:

  • Solstice is that the point at which the Sun is at its greatest distance from the world and equinox is when space is that the lowest.
  • Solstice is a word derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still).
  • Solstice is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and its motion in orbit around the sun.
  • There are 2 solstice that occur in a year. They are Summer solstice and Winter solstice.

Summer Solstice:

  • Summer Solstice falls on 21 June which marks the longest day of the year.
  • The summer solstice occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer which is located at 23.5° latitude north and for every place north of the Tropic of Cancer, the sun is at its highest point in the sky.
  • It occurs at the moment when the earth’s tilt toward the sun is at a maximum, therefore, on the day of the summer solstice, the sun appears at its highest elevation with a noontime position that changes very little for several days before and after the summer solstice.

Winter solstice:

  • Winter solstice that falls on 21 December.
  • It marks the shortest day and longest night of the year.
  • It is also known as the ‘first day of winter’ in the Northern Hemisphere as well as ‘Hiemal solstice or Hibernal solstice’.
  • It occurs when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, which is located at 23.5° south of the equator.

Equinoxes:

  • An equinox is an event in which a planet’s subsolar point passes through its Equator.
  • The Earth’s axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in a “nearly” equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes.
  • The equinoxes are the only time when both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere experience roughly equal amounts of daytime and nighttime.
  • The word Equinox is derived from the Latin aequinoctium, from aequus (equal) and nox (night).
  • This occurs twice each year.
  • Around 20 March known as Spring Equinox marks the beginning of Spring while around 23 September known as Autumn Equinox marks the beginning of Autumn.

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