Confused. When does Summer begin?

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Technical & Discussion

DaffodilsThe days are getting longer and warmer. The daffodils have been and gone, briefly acting like a natural form of roadside artwork. It’s the time of the year when the central heating can be turned off and the boiler (and your wallet) given a well earned rest, and perhaps a service.

But is anyone else confused about when the seasons begin and end? Most countries in Europe consider Summer, for instance, to be June, July and August.

But in Ireland most people refer to the Summer months as being May, June and July. This is because these months have the longest days and shortest nights, and this definition goes back to the ancient Gaelic Calender. However the average temperature is higher in June, July and August so the definition out European cousins use has merit as well.

But if most of Europe considers Summer to be June, July and August, why is mid-Summers day celebrated in the UK on the 23 or 24th of June, surely if they are calling it mid-Summers day it should be in July? And if they are celebrating the longest day, why do they celebrate it a few days late and not on the longest day itself, the 21st June?

Finally there is a third way of determining the seasons which some people use and is based on the Astronomical Calender. In this case summer would start on the day after the longest day i.e. the 22nd June and end when day and night are equal  i.e. on  the 22nd September, the Autumnal equinox.

Of the three ways of determining the seasons the last one make the least sense. Although it is on the correct path using the equinox, which should surely should mark the mid point of the seasons not the end/ beginning.

What does anyone else think?

Daffodils at the Naas Ball
Daffodils at the ‘Ball’ in Naas
Daffodils at road side edge, Naas
Daffodils at road side edge, Naas

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