The longest day of the year, also known as the summer solstice, in Northern Hemisphere was at 5:43 pm, marking the first official day of summer when the sun reaches its northernmost point in the sky. The shortest day of the year, known as the winter solstice, occurs between Dec. 20 and 22.

Here are some facts to know about the first day of summer.

What does solstice mean?

The word "solstice" is from the Latin "solstitium" from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop), meaning the sun standing still. It literally means “furthest or culminating point; a turning point.”

Why does the solstice occur?

The solstice occurs twice annually due to the Earth’s axis of rotation. It is known as the summer and winter solstice. The scientific reason behind summer solstice is that it occurs precisely when the Earth's axial tilt is most inclined toward the sun, at the degree of 23° 26', its most extreme. It doesn't always mean every location will see the earliest sunrise or latest sunset on that day.

When does summer solstice end?

The summer solstice, which falls between spring and autumn, starts June 20 and lasts until Sept. 23. On this day, the sun does not go down in the Arctic Circle. It will mostly stay light from June 19 to June 21.

summer solstice
Revellers welcome in the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge stone circle in southwest Britain, June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Summer solstice quotes for sun lovers:

1. “Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun.” ― Kahlil Gibran

2. “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. “Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.” ― Regina Brett

4. “The days were longer then (for time, like money, is measured by our needs), when summer afternoons were spacious, and the clock ticked slowly in the winter evenings.” ― George Eliot, “Middlemarch”

5. “It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” ― Maud Hart Lovelace, “Betsy-Tacy and Tib”

6. “The days draw out, the weather gets warmer, and it's what we call summer, with a bitter laugh when we've said it.” ― Stan Barstow, “A Kind of Loving”

7. “Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” ― Russell Baker

8. “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” ― St. Francis of Assisi

9. “I am summer, come to lure you away from your computer... come dance on my fresh grass, dig your toes into my beaches.” ― Oriana Green

10. “Summer's lease hath all too short a date.” ― William Shakespeare, “Shakespeare’s Sonnets”