Today is the summer solstice, the single longest day of the year. What are you going to do with your maximum annual hours of daylight?
The summer solstice, as a shocking number of explainers across the internet will be happy to tell you, is the day when the North Pole tilts closest to the sun, meaning the northern hemisphere gets the most sunshine out of any day of the year. The closer to the pole, the longer your day, hence the ambient weirdness of Alaska.
Tens of thousands of people gathered at Stonehenge this year, the BBC reported; many of them were pagans, Druids, and others visiting for religious observance, but plenty more were people who just wanted to see an unfathomably old piece of human engineering doing its thing. (Others also gathered at Glastonbury Tor and Wiltshire’s Avebury stone circle.) The organization that oversees Stonehenge, English Heritage, took the solstice as an opportunity to launch a live feed of the Stonehenge skyscape; “The sky view is accurate to within five minutes, and allows web visitors to watch the rise and fall of the sun and the movements of planets as though they were standing in the middle of the monument,” CNN reported.
The solstice no longer holds the same life-or-death charge that it did for Neolithic peoples, but it’s still an important turning point in the year. So what are you gonna do with your hours and hours of daylight?
Will you barbecue? Grab an outdoor table at a favorite restaurant? Go to the pool? Suntan for as long as possible? (Don’t do that.) Have an argument with your small child about how it’s time to leave the playground even though it won’t get dark for another three hours? I learned to ride a bike on the summer solstice many years ago—perhaps that inspires you to acquire a new skill. Or just do nothing. Glorious, glorious nothing.