Summer Solstice in Somerset

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Thanks to the recent, gloriously warm weather, it may already feel as though summer has arrived, but officially, summer begins with the solstice on Wednesday 21st June, marking the astronomical first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

The longest day and therefore shortest night of the year is known as the solstice and is derived from the Latin words ‘sol’ meaning sun, and ‘sistere’ meaning to stand still. Here in Somerset, Glastonbury Tor is a popular location where locals and visitors alike gather to celebrate the arrival of summer.

Many climb the Tor at daybreak to watch the sun rise and drink in the fabulous views. In the half light, silent crowds gather to enjoy the sounds of the dawn chorus as the sky brightens. Some visitors will make simple headdresses from grasses and wildflowers to give thanks to the natural world. As the sun rises, people say ‘I give thanks for…’  in recognition that a new cycle is about to begin, taking a moment to pause and appreciate all that has gone before.

This year, the sun is expected to rise at 4.53am and set at 9.31pm providing over 16.5 hours of daylight. For those wanting to experience the beauty of Glastonbury Tor at sunrise, it is easily reached from Taunton, located around 20 miles from the Royal Ashton Town House.

Solstice blessings from us all.

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