The Summer solstice or the estival solstice happens when the Earth tilts at its maximum toward the sun, making it the longest day and the shortest night of the year. During the summer solstice, the North Pole gets sunlight at the most direct angle. Solstice comes from the Latin word “solstitium” which means that the sun is still. At this point, the ecliptic doesn’t change for a short period.  In the northern part of the world, the summer solstice occurs in June and goes by the name June solstice. Meanwhile, in the southern part, it goes by name as the December solstice as it happens in December.  

Diagram of Summer Solstice | Source: Timeanddate

Celebrations In Observance

The longest day of the year is observed in different ways across the globe. France, for example, has the Fete de la Musique where citizens play music in public places all day long. The International Day of Yoga, which originated in India, is also celebrated on the longest day of the year. Midsummer Day or Saint John’s Day which is from the Christian Church is also takes place close to the summer solstice. Estonians consider Jaanipaev one of the most important public holidays and celebrate the day with dancing, singing, lighting bonfires, eating, and drinking. 

Musician Playing Outdoors | Source: Pixabay

Summer Solstice Banknotes 

Some banknotes highlight the sun in their designs such as Georgia’s 500 Kuponi banknote from 1994. On its obverse is the Borjgali with the tree of life flanked by griffins based on the carving from the Samtavisi Cathedral. The Borjgali is the country’s representation of the Sun and eternity and is the primary symbol of the Georgian culture. 

Georgia 500,000 Kuponi | 1994 | Source: Banknote World

The reverse of the 1962 issue of the 50 pesos Bolivianos banknote from Bolivia depicts the Gate of the Sun, a monolith at the Tiahuanaco carved in the form of a gateway by the Tiwanaku people. Some believe the inscriptions found on the arc represent celestial cycles. For other scholars, the Gate of the Sun is also a symbol of a transition from lunar to solar religion.  

Bolivia 50 Pesos Bolivianos | L.1962, | Source: Banknote World

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