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Jun 20 2013

Happy summer godless pagans!

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Just a few minutes ago, at 12:04 AM my time, the sun did an ominous thing: it stopped getting higher in the sky of the northern hemisphere! Oh noes, we northerners better start the rituals to coax it back one day right away. That’s the start of summer and the end of the longest day. Or for our friends down under, winter has begun and your sun will start moving higher in the sky. Which means your rituals are working. For anyone who is out dancing wildly and casting spells at either end of the earth, don’t forget to enjoy the super moonlight this weekend.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Lofty

    Thank you for giving us our sunshine back! It’s sorely needed down here, believe me.

  2. 2
    left0ver1under

    I live in Taiwan which straddles the Tropic of Skin Cancer. There are markers (a few small obelisks) deliberately placed in places along the Tropic to note that point on the Earth.

    Going out today, the sun was nearly vertical at noon, even a couple hundred kilometres north of the actual line. Standing up, the only shadow around me is the brim of my hat. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t flipping hot and humid (34ÂșC, 90%), and going to get worse until September.

  3. 3
    Gregory in Seattle

    On this day, it is fun to do the Aten Cheer:

    Hail to the Sun God!
    He is the One God!
    Ra! Ra! RA!

    It is amazing how much it can piss people off :)

  4. 4
    Ben P

    I spent the better part of a year in St. Petersburg, Russia doing study abroad in college.

    my favorite part of that whole trip was the months of june and july when there was 23 hours of daylight a day. The picture in Stephen’s post, if they’re that far north, that’s about what the sky would look like at 11pm.

    I went to an amazing summer solstice festival that was outside of Veliky Novgorod, attended by thousands of people, that was basically a three day long drunken party. I can get behind a religion whose primary religious rituals seem to be drinking in the forest, jumping over a fire, and then going to swim in the river.

  5. 5
    thebookofdave

    Oh crap. I’m completely unprepared for the summer solstice. My labyrinth (redesigned last winter for the coinciding Mayan apocalypse) was aligned to lead celebrants over the precipice. I hope they are too drunk to care, by the time I walk them through it.

  6. 6
    timberwoof

    The long est day is the [i]middle[/i] of summer, and the Winter Solstice is the middle of winter.

    A long time ago I found a map of towns in England, each color-coded by which dates they celebrated as the starts of the seasons. About half did it the now-”official” way and the other half did it the right way. };-)

    I look at it this way: starting summer on the longest day and starting winter on the shortest day is silly. We celebrate midwinter because we’ve made it halfway. Goundhog Day is the start of Spring; May Day is the start of Summer; Halloween is the start of Winter. (And yes, this is all very Northern-Hemisphere-Temperate-Zone-centric. That’s where I live now.)

    However you deem it, have a happy Solstice! “So say we all!”

  7. 7
    lsamaknight

    Got to chip in with timberwoof. Here in Australia, if you’re not in the tropic where the monsoonal wet/dry cycle dominates, winter officially starts on the 1st of June (usually the weather lags a bit behind orbital cycle, though this year a sudden cold snap had winter starting a week or so before the ‘official’ start).

  8. 8
    bad Jim

    In coastal California we have May Gray and June Gloom; the hot dry weather generally runs August through October.

    I’m looking forward to wishing everyone “Happy Aphelion” on July 5.

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