It appears to be the case that the summer solstice is finally here. Along with it there is the phenomenon of a strawberry moon which might interest all the stargazers amongst us.
When the sun goes down, all eyes will be on the moon which will rise tonight. That is because a significant astronomical event is about to transpire today. Since the year 1967, this is the first time that the summer solstice (longest day of the year) will co-exist with the strawberry moon.
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Although it is termed “strawberry moon” it is neither pinkish or crimson in color. Rather the moniker got invented by the Native Americans. They called it strawberry moon in honor of the strawberry harvest season which began when the June full moon was at its peak.
The fact that the summer solstice is to occur at the same time as the strawberry moon means that it is a day that carries extra special importance for many people.
Over 25,000 individuals will form a group at Stonehenge in order to celebrate the summer solstice, according to DailyMail. This ritual tradition has its beginnings in pagan times. The midsummer daylight was thought to possess extraordinary powers.
While many members of the group that is assembling at Stonehenge are druids, there are the odd tourists among them that are there for some fun. It is no small occasion after all.
What is at stake is the longest day of the summer or summer solstice. The word solstice comes from the Latin “solstitium” which means the static sun in the sky.
It occurs once a year when the tilt of the earth points towards the sun. As for the full moon, it comes about when it lies opposite to the sun. The strawberry moon is something that holds wonder and awe for many.
The huge balanced stones were placed in Stonehenge in such a manner by the Ancients that they align with the sunrise on the two solstices. That would be the summer solstice and the winter solstice.
The maximum exposure to the sun occurs at the moment in time that is a summer solstice. In 2015, tens of thousands of individuals visited Stonehenge on the arrival of the summer solstice.
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This year too they will celebrate the occasion at the site where druids used to gather once upon a time. There are still a minority in society that follow the druids’ ways and come to Stonehenge each year.