Summer Solstice: 21 December Marks Longest Day & Shortest Night of the Year

The 21st of December is officially the longest day and shortest night of the year.

South Africa will be experiencing the solstice which also marks the official start of the summer season.

In Gauteng, sunrise was at 5:12am in the Southern Hemisphere with the sun setting at 6:59pm, that is 14 hours and 37 minutes of daylight. 

Solstices are experienced twice a year. 

For the southern hemisphere, the winter (June) solstice occurs around 20-21 June 20 and the summer (December) solstice happens around 21-22 December. 

The word solstice comes from the Latin words sol, meaning sun, and sistere, meaning to stop which reflects our host star’s seemingly brief pause in the sky on the solstice before reversing direction. 

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