Today is the Summer Solstice—the longest day of the year—and the OFFICIAL start of summer! Check out some fun facts about the start of our favorite season:
1.) What is the Summer Solstice, anyway?
Between March and September, the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere gets more exposure to direct sunlight over the course of a day. The rest of the year, the Southern Hemisphere gets more. (It’s the reason for the seasons!) In the Northern Hemisphere, “peak” sunlight usually occurs on June 20, 21, or 22 of any given year. That’s the summer solstice!
2.) So, how much sunlight will I see?
In DC, we’ll see about 14.5 hours of sunlight today! If you live in the DC area and you’re an early bird, you missed the earliest sunrise this year— it happened back on June 13. But you can still catch the latest sunset, which happens next Monday, on June 27. If you like sleeping in, that’s arguably the most exciting day of the summer!
3.) What is this “Strawberry Moon” I’ve heard about?
According to the Old Farmers’ Almanac, full moons in June were traditionally referred to as “strawberry moons” by Native Americans because that was the month strawberries were picked. In 2016, the strawberry moon will happen to coincide with the summer solstice — the first time that’s happened since 1967.
4.) How can I take advantage of the longer, lighter days on my visit to DC?
We encourage you to take one of our nighttime bike tours! Our nighttime bike tours are so popular in the summer months that we add additional tours and timeslots. Our Capital Sites bike tour is also offered at night in the summer months—Capital Sites at Nite tours depart daily at 6:00 PM. Choose from 3 evening timeslots for our ever-popular Monuments at Nite bike tour—they depart daily at 6:30, 7:00 and 7:30. Reserve your Nite tour today: http://bit.ly/1XpMSEd