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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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It’s 8:26 a.m.; Do You Know Where the Sun Is?

By Al Campbell

COURT HOUSE – Today, summer begins with the year’s longest day, in the Northern Hemisphere.
Officially, summer starts at 8:26 a.m. If weather patterns prevail as predicted, the day will be a sun-filled start to the beach and tourist season with temperatures in the mid-80s.
This day is celebrated in many parts of the world as the summer solstice. The rays of the sun will be perpendicular to the Tropic of Cancer at 23¡30′ North latitude.
On this day, the earth’s “circle of illumination” will be from the Arctic Circle on the far side of the earth (in relation to the sun) to the Antarctic Circle on the near side of the earth.
The equator receives 12 hours of daylight, there are 24 hours of daylight at the North Pole and areas north of 66¡30′ N, and there are 24 hours of darkness at the South Pole and areas south of 66¡30′ S.
For county residents with family members in the Southern Hemisphere, this day marks the start of winter.
For county natives who take vacations in the North Country, especially those who visit Alaska at this time, the sun rises in Anchorage at 4:20 a.m. and sets at 11:42 p.m.
That means fishing trips can start at dawn’s early light about 3 a.m.
On the Summer Solstice, the sun is at its highest path through the sky and the day is the longest.
Because the day is so long, the sun does not rise exactly in the east, but rises to the north of east and sets to the north of west allowing it to be in the sky for a longer period.
After the summer solstice, the sun follows a lower and lower path through the sky each day until it reaches the point where it is in the sky for exactly 12 hours again.
This is the Fall Equinox. Just like the Spring Equinox, the Sun will rise exactly east and set exactly west on this day and everyone in the world will experience a 12-hour day.
Those of Swedish descent who call Cape May County home may hold today in high esteem.
In their mother country, today is called “Midsommar.” Nevertheless, the day of brightness is also celebrated in Finland.
In modern day Sweden, Midsummer’s Eve and Midsummer’s Day is celebrated on the Saturday between June 20-26.
The main celebrations takes place on Friday; the traditional events include raising and dancing around a huge maypole. Before the maypole is raised, greens and flowers are collected and used to cover the entire pole.
Raising and dancing around a maypole is an activity that attracts families.
People dancing around the pole listen to traditional music and wear traditional folk costumes. The year’s first potatoes, pickled herring, sour cream, and possibly the first strawberries of the season are on the menu.
Because Midsummer is one of the times of the year when magic is believed to be the strongest, it was a good night to perform rituals to look into the future.
Traditionally, young people pick bouquets of seven or nine different flowers and put them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming about their future spouse.
To many Swedes, this holiday is seen as a holiday of partying, and as the start of the summer.
 
Regardless of the technical data about the day and start of summer, it is the time here when some school students enjoy a brief respite from study.
Others will spend at least some of the time in summer school, brushing up on courses to improve their skills in September.
It’s summer until Sept. 21, but do not think about that right now.
There’s an entire summer ahead.
Contact Campbell at (609) 886-8600 Ext 28 or: al.c@cmcherald.com

Spout Off

Lower Township – As a retired long time bus driver for NJT,and an even longer resident of LT : Thank you to all the school bus drivers for an accident free year. It is a monumental achievement in this day and age!

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Del Haven – I couldn't help but note that a Republican Rep likened Trump's speech to that of a drunk uncle at a dinner party, when he ranted about Milwaukee as being a terrible "city", Pelosi…

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Wildwood – I think it's only fitting wbp honors past chief cirelli with some sort of badges on their uniforms . Chief Lou lived for the summers and only wished the best for our city

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