Some days the sun moves quicker, its rays barely warming the earth before it sinks behind the horizon, only to begin the cycle again the next day, slowly warming the world for an extra moment every day. It is the day when the sun rests in the sky the longest that people look to the most. While it begins the summer, it also means that fall and the colder months will once again be upon them. Preparations need to be started and items gathered, moving slowly toward the day when the sun barely hangs in the sky.
The people of the world are always waiting for the days when the sun tells the time, either the longest day when the sun seems to take forever to move from horizon to horizon or the shortest day when the time of a single blink is enough to go from dusk to dawn. These days mean something to the people of the world, an endless cycle that marks the path of warmth and then the lack of warmth. It is these days that they both covet and hate as their days lengthen and shorten.
Solstices are times of celebration but they are also times of realization. Much like the equinoxes, the solstices mark the passage of time, but in a much more interesting way. The Summer Solstice marks that the days are getting shorter and the weather will slowly become cooler while the Winter Solstice marks the return of the sun and the warmer months that mean growth and rejuvenation. Depending on the culture, these days are either the most important or just another day to pass.
The term solstice is used to refer to the days of the year when the sun takes its longest to cross the sky and its shortest to cross the sky. These days define different parts of the year, often the beginning of summer and warm days moving into cool as well as the beginning of winter and cool days moving into warm. During the Summer Solstice, the sun takes the longest possible time to cross from horizon to horizon, often granting sixteen or more hours of daylight to certain parts of the world. On the Winter Solstice, the sun takes the shortest possible time to cross from horizon to horizon, only granting eight hours of daylight to certain parts of the world.
It is said the solstice represents two instances of Dern
, the God of the Sun, traveling the world. As Spring's Evening came to a close, he traveled the world as the warm summer winds came, passing slowly over green fields, blooming flowers, and vibrant trees. Dern
took his time savoring the world below him, watching as the world flourished and grew as the sun passed over. This would become known as the Summer Solstice or the Long Trek of Dern
traveled the world again later in the year, the world beneath him cooling and showing signs of first frosts and frozen ground. The chill caught him as he passed over, dimming his glow and forcing him to travel faster so he did not fall victim to the cold air of the higher reaches. This trip was much shorter, just barely a glance at the frozen landscape. This marked the Winter Solstice or the Quick Chill of Dern