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The First Day of Summer, Finally

Does the first day of summer always fall on a Saturday, or is that just a happy coincidence? The answer: a happy coincidence. The first day of summer is marked by the summer solstice; the time at which the sun arrives at the farthest point north of the equator. And, while it happens around the same time of year in your respective hemisphere, it’s not always on the same day. <strong>Summer Solstice Celebrations</strong> It’s also the day with the most hours of sunlight during the year in the U.S. and the rest of the northern hemisphere, which some people take pretty seriously. For example, Icelanders mark the first day of summer with a public holiday, because more daylight is definitely something to celebrate around those parts. But, how do we celebrate it in the U.S.? Traditional summer solstice celebrations have roots in pagan and religious belief systems, but these days there’s no broad-based American acknowledgment of celestial mechanics. For the most part, we just like to have more time in the sun. <strong>Outside Summer Fun</strong> One way to celebrate the longer summer days is to get outside and enjoy it. Weekends are made for outdoor games and there’s always something for everyone. Just a few ideas for <a title="Outdoor Lawn Games" href="http://www.atgstores.com/lawn-games-play_2362.html?linkloc=topnav" target="_blank">fun outdoor games</a> that anyone can play: <ul> <li><a title="Horseshoes" href="http://www.atgstores.com/horse-shoes-toss-games_2380_oa2201302.html?linkloc=catheader&amp;gpid=698148" target="_blank">Horseshoes</a>: Speaking of pagan rituals, this game existed back when those were being practiced in the second century – an oldie but goodie, for sure.</li> <li><a title="Ladder Toss" href="http://www.atgstores.com/ladder-toss-toss-games_2380.html?&amp;option0=optionA=201304|13153~Valu&amp;linkloc=catheader&amp;gpid=901335" target="_blank">Hillbilly Horseshoes</a>: A modern variant using a three-tier lawn target and bolos; also goes by the much more boring name of “ladder toss.”</li> <li><a title="Bags" href="http://www.atgstores.com/corn-hole-toss-games_2380_oa2201301.html?linkloc=catheader&amp;gpid=702428" target="_blank">Cornhole</a>: A game wherein bags are thrown at a target with a hole in it that suffers no problems when it comes to a snappy name.</li> <li><a title="Croquet Sets" href="http://www.atgstores.com/croquet_1200.html" target="_blank">Croquet</a>: If you prefer a game possessed of a little more panache and a name that doesn’t make you blush, this might be right up your wicket.</li> <li><a title="Bocce Ball Sets" href="http://www.atgstores.com/bocce-ball_2381.html" target="_blank">Bocce Ball</a>: Balls that you throw at other balls – the Italians are convinced it doesn’t get any better.</li> <li><a title="Badminton Sets" href="http://www.atgstores.com/badminton-sets_2382.html" target="_blank">Badminton</a>: Hit the shuttlecock, win a prize.</li> <li><a title="Volleyball Sets" href="http://www.atgstores.com/volleyball-systems_3098.html" target="_blank">Volleyball</a>: And finally, an outdoor game devoid of suggestive nicknames.</li> </ul> We hope you enjoy the first day of summer and that you get a chance to play a little outside in the sun.
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