Summer solstice 2020: Sensual traditions on the longest day of the year

CNN  — 

Call it love. Call it romance. Call it sensuality. Go ahead and call it old-fashioned lust if you want.

But whatever you call it, the summer solstice for 2020 is arriving – and it has a history of stirring hearts and libidos.

The longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere kicks off the official start of summer and with it, the bounty of the harvest.

So it should come as no surprise that the solstice is linked to fertility – both of the plant and human variety – in destinations around the world.

CNN Travel explores some of those long-standing summer traditions. But first, we’ll take a look at the science of a solstice and what’s special in 2020.

Summer solstice: Q&A

Question: I like precision. Exactly when is the summer solstice in 2020?

It will happen at 21:43 UTC (Universal Coordinated Time) on Saturday, June 20. If you’re in the Eastern Time Zone of the United States, that’s 5:43 p.m. June 20.

But if you happen to live in Tokyo, for instance, your precise summer solstice moment actually happens at 6:43 a.m. on Sunday, June 21.

In fact, all of Asia will observe the solstice on June 21. Berlin, Germany, in Central Europe barely falls on the June 20 date at 11:43 p.m. local time.

The website TimeandDate has a handy tool to let you calculate the time for where you’ll be.

Question: It’s the longest day of the year – and it happens all over the world?

Nope. It’s the longest day only in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s the shortest day of the year south of the equator. The