The longest day of the year is Thursday, as summer begins. Here's some quick solstice trivia and a note from a warm-weather naysayer: "I absolutely detest the summer."
You probably already know that Thursday marks the official beginning of summer for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. So here are some trivia tidbits about the longest day of the year.
Some quick facts:
1. In Seattle, the sun rose Thursday at 5:11 a.m. and sets at 9:10 p.m., leaving us with 16 hours of light.
2. Astronomers can calculate an exact moment for the solstice, when Earth reaches the point in its orbit where the North Pole is angled closest to the sun. That moment was at 3:07 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time Thursday.
3. Last year, 13,000 people gathered at Stonehenge, England, to watch the sun rise and to celebrate Litha, a sacred holiday honoring the solstice.
Wait, there are people among us who hate summer?!
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As hard as it may be to believe for people who love warmth and dread the short days of the colder months, a fair number of Puget Sounders feel relief at the solstice’s passing. Meet Aja Petee, who sent this message after we wrote about seasonal affective disorder (SAD):
“I’m originally from Southern California but have lived in the Pacific Northwest for almost 9 years. I do suffer from SAD but of a different type — I absolutely detest the summer.
Growing up I was obsessed with rainy days, rain attire, and visiting places that rain. When it came time to apply to college, I only applied to schools in the NW and even begged my parents to send me to school in England. I ended up attending school in Oregon and moved to Seattle after I graduated.
The pleasure I derive from the gloom and rain is inexplicable. I feel productive, happy, comforted, and at complete peace. I do take a liquid vitamin D supplement (at the behest of the famous Dr. Rhonda Patrick) and recommend it to most everyone regardless of their predilection for the sun.
Conversely, the summer brings a lot of uneasiness and less options for combating SAD than sun lamps, supplements, and special light alarm clocks. I can’t stand the amount of activities, pressure to have meals outside, uncomfortable sweating, and the extreme lack of AC in the city. I hope to one day spend the North American summer in New Zealand or somewhere in the southern hemisphere; thus avoiding it all together!
I know I am not necessarily the exact person you are looking for but I wanted to offer a different perspective here. I have helped a lot of people see the beauty in the rain and even eased some winter SAD here and there.”