Longest Day of the Year 2024 in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Thursday, 20 June 2024

The Summer Solstice occurs at 16:54

The Summer Solstice is the first day of astronomical summer, although the more logical metrological summer begins December 1st / June 1st (depending on hemisphere). To add further confusion this time of year is also known as Midsummer, although this is often cited as being on the 24th June.

For most of us the main feature of the Summer Solstice is that it is the day with the longest period of sunlight - or daylight at least! This officially occurs at the moment when the sun reaches a point directly overhead of the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23.44° north) in the northern hemisphere or over the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern. At this point the respective hemisphere will receive sunlight at the most direct angle for that year.

The Longest Day in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is 24 hours long

I.e. there isn't a night... The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs in regions near the Earth's poles, notably in the Arctic and Antarctic circles. During the summer months, the Earth's axial tilt results in a unique occurrence where the sun remains visible above the horizon for an extended period, often throughout the entire night. This phenomenon is most prominent near the polar regions, where the sun's path barely dips below the horizon, creating an eerie but mesmerizing spectacle of perpetual daylight during the summer solstice.

The midnight sun has profound cultural and environmental impacts, influencing the daily routines and traditions of communities living in these extreme latitudes, while also playing a crucial role in the region's ecosystems.

During the June Solstice the sun will appear at its highest and most in the sky. Whilst this delivers the longest day of the year the actual length of this day will vary according to location. Those in more latitudes will experience markedly longer days than those closer to the Equator. In fact those in the highest latitudes can experience 24 hours of daylight, i.e. the "midnight sun" for which regions above the Arctic Circle are known.

The evenings are already long at this time of year and the solstice is just the peak. So whilst it might seem like a day to celebrate, in fact days now start getting shorter. It is also worth pointing out that the Summer Solstice doesn't actually have the latest sunset - that occurs a few days later.

With the Sun's rays hitting the Earth more directly this is the time of year the sun is strongest with the highest levels of UV. That said because of "seasonal lag" temperatures still have a way to go before they max out in July or August

Summer Solstice Dates

In the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice takes place between June 20 and 22 each year

Dates of longest day of the year in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Year Date Time (Solstice)
2020 20th June 17:46
2021 20th June 23:35
2022 21st June 05:17
2023 21st June 11:00
2024 20th June 16:54
2025 20th June 22:45
2026 21st June 04:28
2027 21st June 10:14
2028 20th June 16:04
2029 20th June 21:51
2030 21st June 03:34

The word solstice comes from Latin 'solstitium' meaning "the sun stands still". This is because the sun's path north or south stops before reversing direction.

What is the connection to Midsummer?

Although often regarded as interchangeable, Midsummer is actually a separate event to the summer solstice. This year, midsummer falls on June 24th 2024. The day doesn't really mark the middle of the summer by any definition, and in fact it is an ancient, pre-christian festival to maark the mid point of the harvesting season. Midsummer is celebrated in many countries and is often linked to the feast day of St. John the Baptist. However, regardless of location and religion a common theme is bonfires which were originally lit to ward of evil spirits.