The first day of summer occurs on different dates. But whatever the differences in time and location, it always heralds the arrival of the warmest days of the year.
It should be stressed that there is no official day when it begins. The ones that are being used are for convenience, due to tradition or meteorological reasons. In the US and other countries in the Northern Hemisphere, the season begins on June 20. In Europe that date is also used as the starting point (although some prefer June 21).
In the Southern Hemisphere it is on December 21. In Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines, the season starts on March 1.
Meteorologists use a different date to find the first day of summer. They calculate it based on the changes in the weather. Both American and European meteorologists state that May 1 is the time. However there are some who believe that it starts on June 1.
Even during ancient times there were no fixed points on when the season began. Although the ancients paid close attention to solstices and equinoxes, no specific date was set when each season began. However the Romans started their year in March, which they viewed as springtime. Summer followed in June, which is what the countries in the Northern Hemisphere use.
Regardless of when the first day of summer is, the signs are unmistakable. Unlike spring or autumn, summer occurs in most parts of the world. It is also characterized by heat. This isn’t because the Earth has drawn nearer to the Sun. The reason is that the Earth tilts as it spins. When that happens, the Northern or Southern Hemisphere becomes fully exposed to the Sun. The end results are higher temperatures.
How it Affects Wildlife
One of the most conspicuous signs of the season are the emergence of birds. Blackbirds, sparrows and robins spend their time nurturing offspring and building nests. Starlings, woodpeckers and other birds make their presence felt more prominently. Because of the prevailing conditions, it isn’t unusual to hear them chirping well into the nighttime. Bears, deer and other animals in the forests also start to resume their normal activities.
The first day of summer signify the time when flowers start to bloom fully. Different regions produce different types of course. In countries at the Northern Hemisphere it isn’t unusual to see roses, elderflowers and various plants emerge.
Among fruits and vegetables, tomatoes grow rapidly during this time. The reason is obvious; plants and flowers get their sustenance from the Sun. It shouldn’t therefore be surprising that they reach their peak at this point.
In Western cultures, summertime has become a period for fun and leisure. It is when kids go on vacation and head to the movies. It’s also the time when trips to beaches and other countries are conducted. Portrayals in TV, movies and books have turned it into a time for adventure, romance and good times.
The first day of summer can mean many things. You can look at it as just another day. But for most, it’s become a time for pure enjoyment.