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Why Call It a Day on the Longest Day of the Year?

Harvard museums celebrate the summer solstice

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That endearing Christmas song may declare December 25 the most wonderful day of the year, but for sun worshippers, today gets the title. The Harvard Museums of Science and Culture celebrate the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, at their four sites this evening, from 5 to 9 p.m., with extended hours, ice cream, live music, and other activities.

The festivities, free and open to the public, will include traditional Aztec and English dances, rare access to the Harvard Science Center’s rooftop observatory (you can watch the sun fade on a solar telescope), and the making of a “human sundial,” with your shadow telling you the time. Regular exhibitions will be open as well.

Today’s solstice, summer’s first day, saw sunrise in Boston at 5:07 a.m. The sun will set at 8:24 p.m. We bask in more sunlight than on any other day because the sun moves directly overhead, reaching its northernmost point.

Solstice activities will be held, weather permitting, on The Plaza, One Oxford St., Cambridge, next to Sanders Theatre/Memorial Hall. The Plaza is a six-minute walk through Harvard Yard from the Harvard Square Red Line MBTA stop. Free parking for the solstice celebration is available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage in Cambridge. In case of rain, the event will be held inside the Harvard Science Center. Find more information here.

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Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

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