Summer season to officially begin Friday

Published 12:13 pm Thursday, June 20, 2002

By By Caitlin Channell, Staff Writer
For many, summer began when school let out, or when it became too hot to walk out doors without getting drenched in sweat.
Yet summer officially begins this Friday, an event marked on our calendars by the words "summer solstice." It is always the longest day of the year in the warmest season of the year.
In Latin, solstice was derived from the words "sun" and "to stop" because the sun stays almost fixed in the sky for several days. However, the sun may not appear to stay the same to us, because the earth is continually moving.
Although the solstice is often overlooked in present times, it was celebrated by ancient cultures from the Celtic to the Roman. They would have plentiful feasts and festivals full of animated people. It would have been an exciting time when farmers, townspeople, nobles, and travelers would join together for days of celebration.
Calendars from long ago represented the warm months with pictures of the sun, reminding them of one of their most celebrated times.
Nowadays we inadvertently celebrate the summer through sports, swimming, fishing, holding outdoor picnics and laying out for that perfect tan. There might not be any ancient celebration, but there are always end-of-school get-togethers, pool parties and barbecue cook-outs.
Some may spend their days in a simpler way, by themselves or quietly going about their business. Yet all the while, summer is in the air.
With long, heat-saturated days left before the fall, comes the feeling of ease. Those true, southern lazy days with iced lemonade and platters of freshly baked cookies wrap up the golden present of summer. And with the passing time, summer will end, and leave a warm reminder of good times with friends and family.

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