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21 June 2013 No Comment

The Summer Solstice has arrived

 If you haven’t done so already, break out the swimsuits, hats, shorts and light cotton dresses, throw some soft drinks and beers in the cooler, fire up the barbeque and don’t forget the suntan lotion.

Summer has officially arrived.SummerSolsticeSymbols

June 21 usually marks the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, the longest day of the year. This year is an oddity – it begins as usual on the 21st at 1.04 EDT in the US, but for some western parts of North America, it began June 20, according to the Clark Planetarium website.

Of course, in Australia and New Zealand, this date marks the beginning of the Winter Solstice, and the shortest day of the year.

Summer solstice occurs when the Earth’s axis is the most tilted toward the sun; what is known as the “maximum axial tilt” with the sun rising at its most north easterly point on the horizon and setting at its most north westerly point – in the northern hemisphere.

Here in Belize it mostly means that summer is well and truly underway and Chaa Creek’s Summer of Love is in full bloom.

The summer solstice has been celebrated in Belize for thousands of years by the Maya, those legendary keepers of time and the most astute astronomers the ancient world produced. Throughout the Mundo Maya, or world of the Maya, encompassing all of Belize and parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, there will be special celebrations in many small villages and at major archaeological sites such as Chitzen Itza to mark the occasion.

For most of us it just means that days are at their longest, the nights are at their shortest, and the order of the day is let the good times roll.

Summer in Belize is a great time of year. It’s actually cooler than in many northern areas, thanks to Mother Nature’s air conditioner – the balmy breezes off the Caribbean and cooling effect of so much pristine rainforest and a lack of concrete, cars and exhaust fumes compared to our northern neighbours. It’s also a great time to take advantage of lower prices and some summertime discounts available this time of year.

Who was it that sang “There ain’t no cure for the Summertime Blues”?

We prove that one wrong year after year…

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