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Quarter days are the four days that mark the beginning of each quarter of the year. They are traditionally regarded as settling days for certain debts that are payable in quarterly instalments, such as farm rents and leasehold payments.
In England, Wales, and
Ireland, the quarter days are four religious festival days that fall about
three months apart. They are:
(The Feast of the Annunciation, March 25th)
Midsummer Day (The Feast of St. John the Baptist, June 24th)
Michaelmas Day (The Feast of St. Michael and All Angels, September 29th)
Christmas Day (The Feast of the Nativity, December 25th).
The Summer Solstice, sometimes known as Midsummer, Litha or St. John's Day, occurs in the middle of June, usually 21st . It is a celebration of the longest day of the year and the beginning of Summer.
The tilt of the Earth's rotational axis gives us our seasons. One day in December and the other day in June, the Earth's axis is tilted most directly toward (and away from) the sun. Around June 21st, when the North pole is pointed sun ward, people in the northern hemisphere experience the longest day and shortest night of the year. This day is the summer solstice.
The word solstice is Latin in origin and solstice means that the sun stood still. A little before and during the winter and summer solstices, the sun appears to rise and set at almost exactly the same places.
Click here to read more about the seasons.
Click here to view the Nasa site and see an animation about the seasons.
The name Litha may come from Saxon tradition -- the opposite of Yule. On this longest day of the year, light and life are abundant. At mid-summer, the Sun God has reached the moment of his greatest strength. Seated on his greenwood throne, he is also lord of the forests, and his face is seen in church architecture peering from countless foliate masks.
St. John's Day
The Christian religion converted this day of Jack-in-the-Green to the Feast of St. John the Baptist. It is sometimes known as St. John's Day. John the Baptist's birthday is celebrated on June 24th. John was a cousin of Jesus, born to Elizabeth and Zechariah. When John was grown up, he worked very hard trying to get people to obey God. He worked hard to prepare the people for the time when Jesus would start preaching to them himself. John baptized hundreds of people in the River Jordan.
Use your Bible to help you with this crossword about John the Baptist.