The solstice heralds the beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the one day of the year with the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. In 2017, the solstice was at 11:24, central time. The timing of the solstice depends on when the Sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator.
The word solstice is from the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), reflecting the fact that the Sun appears to stop at this time (and again at the winter solstice).
In temperate regions, we notice that the Sun is higher in the sky throughout the day, and its rays strike Earth at a more direct angle, causing the efficient warming we call summer.
Q1. The Pagan summer solstice was adopted by Christians as:
Many celebrate Summer by gathering around a bonfire.
1. The Feast of St. Verulus and Companions
2. The Feast of St. Emma
3. The Feast of St. John the Baptist
4. The Feast of St. Mary
5. The Feast of St. Brigid
(3) The Feast of St. John the Baptist
Midsummer Eve is also known as Saint John’s Eve because it is the night before the festival of the nativity of John the Baptist. Throughout Europe peasants often celebrated this night by lighting fires in streets and marketplaces. Although the fires were often blessed by priests, the celebration was generally conducted by the laity. Midsummer eve celebrations were a continuance of the Teutonic pagan festivals and fertility rites associated with agriculture at the time of the summer solstice.
Q2. What is the relationship between the moon’s phase and the summer solstice?
1. There is always a full moon at the summer solstice.
2. There is always a new moon at the solstice.
3. There is no relationship.
(3) There is no relationship.
Q3. According to the old folk calendar, summer begins on:
1. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
2. Beltane (May 1) and ends on Lammas (Aug. 1)
3. Ostara (March 21) and ends on Mabon (Sept. 21)
4. Summer solstice (June 21) and ends on Samhain (Oct. 31)
(2) Beltane (May 1) and ends on Lammas (Aug. 1)
Q4. The summer solstice is the official first day of summer. When does summer end?
1. At the winter solstice
2. At the autumnal equinox
3. At the vernal equinox
(2) At the autumnal equinox
Q5. According to the Pagan Celtic year, there are four ‘lesser’ holidays. Which isn’t one of them?
3. Summer Solstice
4. Vernal equinox
Q6. In England, it was the ancient custom on summer solstice eve to:
1. Light bonfires
2. Jump through fires
3. Wander with players dressed as unicorns and dragons
4. Deck the house with birch and lilies
5. None of the above
6. All of the above
(6) All of the above
Michelle Pfeiffer and Kevin Kline star as Titania and Bottom (respectively) in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Q7. Which movie takes place during the Summer Solstice?
1. ‘Long Day’s Journey into Night’
2. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
3. ‘Suddenly Last Summer’
(2) ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
Q8. In which film did Sgt Milton Warden, played by Burt Lancaster, and Karen Holmes, played by Deborah Kerr, have a passionate clinch on a beach?
1. The Notebook
2. The King and I
3. From Here to Eternity
4. Atlantic City
(3) From Here to Eternity
The famous Beach kiss – Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the film “From Here to Eternity.”
This sea-soaked embrace was considered quite risqué in 1953, even though the raciest footage ended up on the cutting room floor. What remains is indelible. Deborah Kerr, playing a disaffected army wife, tells her lover (Burt Lancaster), “I never knew it could be like this. Nobody ever kissed me the way you do.”
Q9. What baseball movie was based on Burt Lancaster?
1. The Sandlot
2. Bad News Bears
3. Bull Durham
4. The Rookie
(2) Bad News Bears
His son Bill Lancaster’s screenplay for The Bad News Bears (1976) was based on his experience being coached by his father. Bill had been disabled by polio as a child, and according to friend Joel Douglas – the son of Kirk Douglas – the Tatum O’Neal character in the film, the odd kid out, was Bill. The coach played by Walter Matthau was based on Burt, who was known for his grumpiness.
Burt Lancaster was the inspiration for the movie “Bad News Bears” starring Tatum O’Neal and Walter Matthau.
Q10. Which place on earth receives the longest period of daylight on June 21?
1. The North Pole
2. The South Pole
3. The equator
(1) The North Pole
Q11. The Dog Days of Summer refers to the weeks between July 3rd and August 11th. They are named after ….?
1. The fact that the average person eats 60 hotdogs a year, mostly during the months of July and August.
2. The Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.
3. Dogs… due to the behavior canines exhibit during hot weather
(2) The Dog Star (Sirius) in the constellation of Canis Major.
If you thought that was a term your grandma made up, you’ll be surprised to learn the phrase dates back to ancient Rome. “Caniculares dies,” or days of the dogs, was what the Romans called the period from the first week of July to the second week of August.
Therefore, the dog days of summer only refer to the last part of the summer, not the whole season.
You might have heard of a constellation named Orion. Often referred to as “The Hunter,” Orion is a prominent constellation visible throughout the world. Nearby is the constellation Canis Major, which is Latin for “greater dog.” According to constellation lore, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs.
Located in Canis Major is a star named Sirius, also called the “Dog Star.” With the exception of our sun, Sirius is the brightest star visible from Earth. The brilliant, blue-white star’s name comes from the Greek word for “searing.” Because Sirius is so bright, it was easy to track even for early astronomers. During April and early May, Sirius was visible in the southwest after sunset. But by the time mid-summer would come along, Sirius would rise and fall with the sun and get lost in the daytime light.
However, the ancients knew that the “Dog Star” was still there, up in the sky with the sun during the hottest time of the year. They reasoned that since Sirius was so bright and up there with the sun, it must be adding to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year. While Sirius may be bright, the effects of its energy do not affect Earth as much. “Sirius is also about half a million times farther away from our sun – something the ancients didn’t know.” As it turns out, when the ancients blamed the “Dog Star” for boosting the heat during the summer, they were barking up the wrong tree.
Q12. Which American state is officially nicknamed “The Sunshine State”?
Q13. Exposure to sunlight is one of the best ways for the human body to get which vitamin?
1. Vitamin A
2. Vitamin B
3. Vitamin C
4. Vitamin D
(4) Vitamin D
Q14. 1. When was the first bathing suit worn?
Although she is cute, Pebbles was not the first one to wear a bathing suit. The Greeks invented the swim wear in 350 B.C.
A. Greece in 350 BC
B. Rome in 54 AD
C. Victorian England in 1841
D. Pebbles on the Flintstones during the Stone Age
The first bathing suit worn in Greece in 350 BC. Later, togas were worn when swimming and bathing reached the heights of its popularity in the ancient world.
Once upon a time, American men were required to wear a skirt with their bathing suit. According to the “Bathing Suit Regulations” published May 17, 1917, men’s suits had to be worn with a skirt or have at least a skirt effect. The skirt had to be worn outside of the trunks.
During the 18th century, ladies went so far as to sew lead weights into the hems of their bathing gowns. Black stockings and a ruffled cap or straw hat completed the fashionable sewing costume in the 1880s. Men started wearing rubber or synthetic bathing suits in the 1950s
The first bathing suit for women was created in the 1800s. It was long sleeved with woolen bloomers.
A Social History of Swimming Pools in America
The first public swimming pools in the United States were “large community bath tubs”-indoors, relatively small, and intended to encourage good hygiene among the poor. By the nineteen-twenties, pools had become elaborate “public amusements,” accommodating thousands. Wiltse’s history argues that, at every turn, these sites of “intimate and prolonged contact” between swimmers of different races, genders, and social classes stirred intense conflict. The book is most incisive in its discussion of swimming pools as what one editorialist called “one of the touchiest problems in race relations.” Between the wars, swimming pools began to mix the genders, but African-Americans were gradually excluded from the “sexually charged” spaces. In the fifties and sixties, as civil-rights activists persevered in the courts, many cities chose to close municipal pools rather than integrate them.
Early sunglasses served a special purpose and it wasn’t to block the rays of the sun. For centuries, Chinese judges had routinely worn smoke-colored quartz lenses to conceal their eye expressions in court. It wasn’t until the 20th century that modern-type sunglasses came to be.
Q15. Who invented and wore the first pair of sun glasses?
B. The Chinese
D. Hollywood celebrities
The Chinese invented and wore the first pair of sun glasses more than 2,000 years ago.
Q16. Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but which U.S. state grows the most lemons to eat?
D. Puerto Rico
About one-quarter of the world’s lemons are grown in the U.S. California is home to the most lemon trees.
Although lemonade may be a popular summer drink, not everyone is aware that it is also the citrus fruit with the most uses. In addition to cooking and drinking, lemon juice is used for perfume and medical purposes as well as a cleaning agent. However, lemon juice is still the most popular use. About one-third of California lemon production is used for juice or concentrates.
Spoons and Banana Split — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Q17. In 1776, what momentous event forever impacted how summer would taste in America?
A. The hot dog was invented and served at the Boston tea party
B. George Washington modeled the first American swimwear line while crossing the Delaware
C. The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City
D. The Beach Boys recorded their first hit
(B) The first ice cream parlor opened in New York City in 1776.
Did you know that 98 percent of American households buy ice cream each year. Scientific experiments have established that on average a single scoop ice cream cone takes 50 licks to eat.
Dolley Madison created a sensation when she served ice cream as a dessert in the White House during an inaugural ball in 1812.
While you might think kids ages 2-12 eat the most ice cream apparently older adults (ages 45 and up) eat just as much!
The three American cities with the highest per capita consumption of ice cream are: Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and St. Louis, Missouri.
Q18. Which location has NOT been claimed as the birthplace of the American hotdog?
A. Coburg, Germany
B. Coney Island, USA
C. Frankfort, Germany
D. Vienna, Austria
(B) Coney Island, USA
Naming the birthplace of the American hotdog is problematic as Coburg, Frankfort, and Vienna all claim the honor, although in truth the American hotdog is most likely a descendent of the traditional sausage eaten by many Europeans and brought to the U.S.
Left to Right: First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; King George VI of England; Mrs. Sarah Roosevelt (mother to her only child, the President); Queen Elizabeth (the “Queen Mother”); and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR treated the British royalty to a summer picnic, including the American favorite combination: hot dogs and beer.
In 1939, King George IV partook of hot dogs and beer with President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House. The movie Hyde Park on Hudson, starring Bill Murray as FDR, features the first American visit from the English king.
The average person eats 60 hotdogs a year. In fact, during the average summer festival in America, 5 tons of hotdogs, 20 gallons of mustard, 930 pounds of onions, 125 gallons pickles, 40 gallons of ketchup, and more than 3,000 rolls are consumed.
If you need help with your hot dog etiquette then you should consult the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s rules of Hot Dog Etiquette which includes such rules as: Don’t put the hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always “dress the dog,” not the bun; Don’t use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable; Do eat a hot dog on a bun with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns; Don’t take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For foot-long wieners, seven bites are acceptable; and All condiments remaining on the fingers after the hot dog is eaten should be licked away, not washed.