Happy Longest Day of the Year!

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Andy Rain/epa/Corbis

Nothing to look forward to now but the ever-increasing hours of darkness. How’s that for a cheery Monday?

June 21 marks the Summer Solstice, the day when the hours of sunlight are longest in the year. The solstice occurs when the earth’s axis is most inclined toward the sun, a date which corresponds with June 21. In the southern hemisphere, today marks the winter solstice — as the days begin to grow shorter here, they’ll grow longer there as they approach summer.

Revelers mark the day with celebrations at Stonehenge, the ancient English monument thought to be arranged as a solar calendar of sorts. More than 20,000 people — a mix of Druids, sun-worshipers and the curious — turned out to observe the sunrise.

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