COLUMBUS (WCMH) — You’ve probably seen the posts on social media today wishing you a happy first day of summer. But you’ve also heard that summer doesn’t begin until June 21st.
So what’s right? Technically, both answers are, but it all depends on where you live.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac states that the summer solstice officially begins at 12:24am on Wednesday, June 21. But that date and time is for those living in the Eastern Time zone only.
For the other three quarters of the United States, the official first day of summer is Tuesday, June 20th. That’s because the summer solstice for Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones begin at 11:24pm, 10:24pm and 9:24pm respectively.
So why is it celebrated on two different dates? The first day of summer refers to the summer solstice, which is based on the position of the sun when it reaches its northernmost point from the equator. Because its not on a set date and time, you can end up with strange years like this one where summer officially begins on two separate dates based on where you live.