2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Climate and the Weather; Everyday life

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Summer is a season that is astronomically defined as beginning around June 21, and ending around September 23 in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, summer begins around December 21 and ends around March 21. Summer is defined by convention in meteorology as the whole months of June, July, and August, in the Northern Hemisphere, and the whole months of December, January, and February, in the Southern Hemisphere. The unofficial start of summer is a matter of convention: in Ireland it is as early as May 1, in many countries it is considered to be June 1, while in others it is as late as July 1. In general, seasonal changes occur earlier in coastal regions, so countries close to the oceans go for an earlier start to summer than inland ones. Summer is commonly viewed as the season with the longest (and warmest) days of the year, in which the daylight predominates, through varying degrees. In the northern latitudes, twilight is known to last at least an hour, sometimes leading to the famous white nights found in St. Petersburg and Scandinavia. It is also called the season of the midnight sun near the North Pole; in northern Norway for instance.

For many people in the West, the seasons are considered to start at the equinoxes and solstices in an "astronomical" sense. However, due to the fact that seasonal lag is less than 1/8 of a year (except near large bodies of water), the "meteorological" start of the season precedes, by about three weeks, the start of the "astronomical" season. This time differential keeps the "meteorologial" definition more symmetrically centered around the warmest part of the year than the "astronomical one" is. Today, the "meteorological" definition is gaining momentum, but the "astronomical" definition is more frequent, and most people today still regard it as "official". In fact, the equinoxes and solstices of the astronomical seasons are considered to be the naturally official beginnings of seasons. The astronomical seasons still appear on most calendars. Elsewhere, however, the solstices and the equinoxes are taken to mark the mid-points, not the beginning, of the seasons. In Chinese astronomy, for example, summer starts on or around May 6, with the jiéqì ( solar term) known as Lixia (立夏), i.e. "establishment of summer". An example of Western usage would be William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, where the play takes place over the shortest night of the year, which is the summer solstice.

In Southern and Southeast Asia where the monsoon occurs, summer is more generally defined as March to May or early June, their warmest time of the year, ending with the onset of the monsoon rains.

In most countries children are out of school during this time of year, although dates vary. Some begin as early as mid-May, although in England, from the ages of 5-16, school ends in the middle of July.

Summer is also the season in which many fruits, vegetables, and other plants are in full growth.

Summer in popular culture

Beaches are popular during summer.
Beaches are popular during summer.

There are many cultural associations with summer. Commercials touting summer may involve Beach imagery, including bathing suits, beach balls and surf boards. Summer clothings accounts for the effects of increased heat and sunshine, including but not limited to: shorts, tee shirts, sun dresses, sunglasses, and sandals.

In the United States, Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff for summer and Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, with other peak summer travel occurring over July 4 weekend. Because schools let out in the summer, this season is common for travel, such as road trips. As a result of supply and demand, gas prices tend to increase in the Summer. Many students get summer jobs.

In late summer, back to school sales are common.


Since the late 1990s in North America, likely due to release of summer blockbusters beginning the first Friday in May, there has been an increasing trend for businesses to begin summer promotions on May 1 in order to get a head start on tourists. This is likely due to the fact that although May is the typically only the fifth warmest month in the Northern Hemisphere, it is the third largest month of daylight hours. In addition, with an earlier start of the back-to-school promotional period along with the trend of having the last day of school before Memorial Day in many states forces many retailers to push summer ahead, along with the fact that summer is typically the most long-awaited season. It comes from the Latin word deaconto, which means hot.

Personifications of Summer

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