Although the summer solstice doesn’t occur officially until June 21, that doesn’t stop people from taking advantage of the warmer weather in the last few weeks of Spring.
The holiday known as Memorial Day was once a somber holiday honoring the fallen soldiers from the Civil War on through Korea and Viet Nam. Established at the end of the Civil War as Decoration Day and dedicated to decorating the graves of fallen soldiers on both sides of the war, the holiday was quickly adopted by the federal government. It officially falls on the last Monday in May.
Over the years, it has become less of a memorial day and more of a summer celebration. It is a weekend filled with barbeques and picnics at the local park or the beach. It is a day of laughter and pool parties in the back yard, or an outing of beer and baseball. Auto racing’s biggest event, the Indy 500, takes place then.
Schools across the country let out soon after. Summer camps open up. Frozen custard stands open for the season. In the US, summer starts three weeks early, and flowers are still laid on graves, on Memorial Day.