Today is 21st June 2020, the 172nd day of the year. Anything special about this day? Usually, every year this day marks the summer solstice in Northern hemisphere, which makes the daylight stay for longer hours, making it the longest day of the year. Don’t go too scientific on me, the full day is still 24 hrs though, but you probably understood I meant!
What else? Oh yes, this day also happens to be the day when moon (unintentionally though) comes in between the Sun and Earth covering the Sun totally leaving only the outer edges of the Sun visible, making it look like a “ring of fire”, or annulus (meaning “ring” in Latin), hence the name annular solar eclipse. According to timeanddate.com, the only other time that solar eclipse coincides with June solstice is on June 21, 2039. In India, it started at 9.15 IST and ended at 15.04 IST, making it last for about 6 hours.
So, summer solstice, and annular solar eclipse on the same day! Anything else? It seems like June 21, 2020 is Father’s Day as well. Celebrated in over 111 countries around the world, this day is dedicated to honoring fatherhood as well as influence of fathers in the society. Observed at different dates across different regions, it is usually held in the months of March, May and June. India celebrates Father’s Day on third Sunday on June every year and is celebrated by children giving gifts to their fathers.
Among all the series of events that were observed simultaneously on this day, one event is of foremost importance. June 21, 2020 is also observed as the International Yoga Day. First observed on June 21, 2015, the idea of Yoga Day was first proposed by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, during his speech at UN General Assembly in 2014. The date of June 21 was proposed by Narendra Modi stating it’s special significance with coinciding with summer solstice. Yoga, originated in India, is a thousands of years old practice, which imparts knowledge of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being in the lifestyle of people. It helps align, integrate and harmonize the various elements of human life; offers clarity, balance and awareness in one’s journey towards understanding his self and the world around him. It’s not a routine, or a daily chore, but it’s a way of life.
Clustered everything on a single day, and marked by multiple events observed globally, this day became significant in the way it connected people around the globe through celestial phenomenon of summer solstice and annular solar eclipse. It connected them to their families through celebrations of Father’s Day. And finally, brought people together, not it distance, but in spirit, by global awareness of Yoga.
In these times, when the global pandemic created havoc around the world, the day of June 21, 2020 has connected people once again, through phenomena happening on a scale much bigger than human comprehension.
Have a great day 😊
References: Wikipedia, timeanddate.com