As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, what actually determines the official and unofficial starts of summer?
For many, it will be Memorial Day Weekend, the first three-day weekend that signifies a new beginning. Did you know these facts?
- Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day.
- It is observed on the last Monday of May, although for many years it was observed on May 30.
- Each year, a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.
- Memorial Day celebrates the men and women who have lost their lives in the Armed Forces, originating after the Civil War.
- It is the unofficial beginning of the summer season.
Why is there an unofficial start to summer, when summer solstice is about 2-3 weeks away typically, and the end of schools for families and kicking of summer Fridays for corporates is generally not in synch? Let's credit this on the weather. The weekend marks the approximate start of frost-free nights. It is when people traditionally plant their gardens, beginning their harvest, and focus more on outdoor activities including planting.
In the army, it was when summer dress replaced winter dress. And it is when barbecue season kicks of with pool parties, trips to the beach, (outdoor) movie screenings and theatrical releases of blockbuster movies, long weekend getaways, and essentially a warm weekend devoted to family togetherness, outdoor events, and fortifying a sense of community.
So what about the summer solstice? Based more on science, and more romantically known as a midsummer. This is when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt toward the Sun. For the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky and is the day with the longest period of daylight.
Did you know?
- On the summer solstice, the Earth's maximum axial tilt toward the Sun is 23.44°.
- Within the Arctic (or Antarctic circle), there is a continuous daylight around the summer solstice.
- Typically, this occurs during June 20 and June 22 in the Northern Hemisphere (and between December 20 and December 23 in the Southern Hemisphere, which in turn is the winter solstice in the north).
- Solstice is derived from the Latin words sol (Sun) and sistere (to stand still).
Regardless of when summer starts, the warmer air calls for some fresh, clean and citrusy scents that can be enjoyed to liven one's spirits. Our GQ recommended 1828 has the apt punch of citrusy grapefruit balanced with pepper and eucalyptus. This is not a blue bottle 1/.6 takes a sweet orange take on the iconic citrus, while 1725 combines citrus and grapefruit with licorice and bergamot.
And for those with carnal, juicy and gourmand instincts all year round, 1969 never fails.