Post a New Topic
Original post made
on Jun 20, 2013
Nice concept, but tonight is the solstice, not tomorrow evening. " )
Right you are! The solstice occurs on June 21 at 05:04 UTC, which is THIS evening, June 20, at 22:04 PDT, or 10:04 PM local time. Most calendars are printed with East coast time zones, which often causes those of us on this side of the country to see this sort of thing.
Peninsula Astronomical Society
UTC doesn't make much sense to most US residents as it corresponds to GMT which is British winter time. Calendars in Britain will have the correct date printed so it is only American calendars which are printed in East Coast time zones.
Additionally, most other countries consider this midsummer's day rather than the first day of summer. The summer solstice is definitely the accurate description.
Sorry, that comment sounded a lot more stern that it was meant. I was just mulling and absent mindedly commenting. Interesting discussion point.
Resident - I think you made a similar comment on a similar thread, no?
The reason it's called Midsummer is that summer, as a general season, was said to start in early May & therefore, midsummer is around the summer solstice. This was the case for many decades in many European countries. Some of them counted only three seasons - spring, summer, winter. Some of them counted only 2 seasons - summer & winter. By either reckoning, they placed midsummer around the time of the solstice, the longest day, as they knew the days shortened thereafter. These countries, not being the US, have traditions still intact from pagandom & early Christendom, such as St. John's Eve & St. John's Day & they will celebrate all of them, as a multiday festival.
Yes, I think I have mentioned that before here.
As a student, I remember studying midsummer day as a description of the fact that it is the longest day, having the longest number of daylight hours and that the amount of daylight will start decreasing straight afterwards hence it being called the middle of summer. This may be accurate as far as astronomical definitions, but not necessarily about climate definitions. Likewise midwinter's day is the shortest number of hours of daylight and therefore astronomical not climatic definition.
As to the pagan significance, I have looked into the history from wiki and it is interesting to see how other cultures have looked on the festival. As far as native Americans' celebration of the solstice, it seems to have not been important to their culture.
Stonehenge and other ancient sites such as Newgrange in Ireland, are proof that the summer and winter solstices was important to them, possibly for pagan religious reasons but also quite possibly because it gave them a time to start counting their calendar or to give a fixed number of days until they had to plant their crops. Since there was a great deal of science needed to build these ancient sites, it is quite possible that they valued science just as much, if not more, than their pagan rites. The probability is that their scientific knowledge was garnered specifically to help their religion and accordingly these rites told them when to plant their crops. A case of science arising from religious belief as well as a more earthly need to get their planting done at the right time.
Resident, many if you're referring to Celtic rites & beliefs, for a long time they didn't distinguish between science & religion the way that we do. The rites that they administered & the science they practiced went hand in hand w/medicine, farming, etc.
Most people don't care about the science of the solstice. There are activities and events going on all weekend in celebration. Get off your pedestals and participate in the community in a more positive way.
Glad you had a good time and yes community participation is great. But, so is using the opportunity to find out more about history and people. We are never too old to stop learning. Education is taking place outside the classroom and we can participate that if we keep our eyes open and think about some of the things around us. Sharing our thoughts and opinions is a good thing, I think.
Nothing about being on high pedestals, more about a desire for knowledge.
Yoga Day Participant sure needs to do more downward dogs and enjoy some meditative time to deal with that snotty edge! I enjoy knowing about astronomy and the science of the solstices and equinoxes and that doesn't stop me from engaging in nice community events. None of it has anything to do with being on a pedestal. How does Yoga Day's yoga mat fit on their pedestal? Tiny mat?
Cheer up Palo Altans. I only commented in the first place because I don't understand the point of previous posters criticizing an event that they probably weren't involved with. Organizing a yoga class for a Friday evening on the commercially recognized solstice seems more practical than 10pm on a Thursday night. I have excellent balance, so I only need a small mat for my small pedestal. ;)
Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.
Post a comment
Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online.
Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information
We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.
Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?
- Barron Park
- Charleston Gardens
- Charleston Meadows
- College Terrace
- Community Center
- Crescent Park
- Downtown North
- Duveneck/St. Francis
- Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
- Esther Clark Park
- Evergreen Park
- Greater Miranda
- Green Acres
- Greendell/Walnut Grove
- Leland Manor/Garland Drive
- Meadow Park
- Monroe Park
- Old Palo Alto
- Palo Alto Hills
- Palo Alto Orchards
- Palo Verde
- South of Midtown
- St. Claire Gardens
- The Greenhouse
- Triple El
- University South
- Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
- Addison School
- Barron Park School
- Duveneck School
- Egan Middle School (Los Altos)
- El Carmelo School
- Escondido School
- Fairmeadow School
- Gunn High School
- Hoover School
- JLS Middle School
- Jordan Middle School
- Juana Briones School
- Nixon School
- Ohlone School
- Palo Alto High School
- Palo Verde School
- Santa Rita (Los Altos)
- Terman Middle School
- Walter Hays School
- another community
- Another Palo Alto neighborhood
- East Palo Alto
- Los Altos
- Los Altos Hills
- Menlo Park
- Mountain View
- Portola Valley
Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.
Sneak peek: Bradley's Fine Diner in Menlo Park
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 3,327 views
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,638 views
Politics: Empty appeals to "innovation"
By Douglas Moran | 13 comments | 1,604 views
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 1,530 views
It's Dog-O-Ween this Saturday!
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 817 views
Home & Real Estate
Shop Palo Alto
Send News Tips
Circulation & Delivery
Mountain View Voice
© 2014 Palo Alto Online
All rights reserved.