Two special occasions that make today an exceptional day9 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
It’s the 21st of June, and that means two things. You’ve probably caught on to what one of the events is just from the picture, but take this short quiz to see if you can name the two reasons why today is so special.
So, yup, today is special because:
It is the United Nations‘ International Day of Yoga.
It marks this year’s Summer Solstice or the longest day of the year.
This year, the 21st of June marks the Summer Solstice or the longest day of the year. It is known as the day that indicates the beginning of the summer. (calm down! Don’t get flustered, we know!! The heat has been sweltering for a while now).
The summer solstice falls between the 20th and 22nd of June every year.
The longest day for the nations to the North of the equator (The Northern Hemisphere) marks the shortest day for places to the south of the equator (The Southern Hemisphere). For them, this is the winter solstice.
Our winter solstice is on the 21st or 22nd of December. And it is the shortest day the year for all of us that are hobnobbing to the North of the equator. But today, we have daylight for over twelve hours!! So, if you didn’t finish your homework today, you most definitely can’t say that you ran out of time.
People in Australia and other countries to the south of the equator are currently bang in the middle of winter!
Watch this video to understand the Summer Solstice a little better.
International Yoga Day
Well, with such a long day just lying around, seven years ago, India realised something needed to be done about it. We also noticed that we had the ancient art of Yoga just lying in our cache and that we needed to share and celebrate it. So in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed to the United Nations that we fill this particularly long day by celebrating Yoga and practising it.
While the 21st of June is not necessarily the Summer Solstice every year, it is always one of the few longest days of the year.
International Yoga Day was the most popular proposal to have ever been floated at the United Nations! A whopping 177 nations were in favour of celebrating this ancient Indian practice!
Wait, wait, wait, what is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient Indian form of exercise that promotes wellness and a healthy body and mind. While there are complex and advanced forms of Yoga, even the most rigid boned, tight muscled person can have a go at it. Moreover, they can greatly benefit from it.
Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, which means unity. Yoga promotes the unity of our minds with our bodies. Many claims also state that Yoga helps join individual consciousness’ or minds with universal consciousness or nature.
Think with Owliver:
Your brain is already in your body. What does uniting your mind with your body mean?
What does the word consciousness mean to you?
How can Yoga promote the unity that its name indicates?
International Yoga Day, 2021
Every year, Yoga Day has a theme. This year it is “Yoga for Wellness”. That makes sense since we’ve spent the past couple of years fighting off illness (*cough* Covid-19 *cough*). Moreover, as we’ve all been in lockdown, we tend to feel anxious and depressed. Practising Yoga can help us fight off some of these awful feelings and feel happier and healthier.
“Today, when the whole world is combating the coronavirus disease pandemic, yoga remains a ray of hope.”Narendra Modi, The Prime Minister of India
Several Indian politicians have claimed that Yoga can cure the illness caused by the Covid-19 virus. While Yoga can help us become healthier and improve our immunity, Yoga is not a substitute for medical care and attention if you catch the virus.
Match these simple poses to their common names, and make sure to give all of them a try.
- The Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, occurs between the 20th and 21st of June in the Northern Hemisphere.
- India is in the Northern Hemisphere.
- When countries in the Northern Hemisphere experience the Summer Solstice, countries in the Southern Hemisphere experience the Winter Solstice.
- International Yoga Day is on the 21st of June. Today marks the seventh International Day of Yoga.
- Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that promotes health and wellness.
Answer: The Stonehenge