Welcoming Summer

Yesterday was the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the day of the year when the sun was at its highest point in the sky. People around the world are welcoming the start of the new season by enjoying (or avoiding) the hot weather. In southern England, where yesterday brought heavy rains, pagans gathered at Stonehenge and reveled in spite of the downpour. Collected here are a handful of images of the beginning of Summer, 2012. [31 photos total]

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A Bengal tiger, sprayed with water by a zookeeper on a hot summer day at the Birsa Munda Zoological Park in Ranchi, India, on May 30, 2012. Zoo authorities are helping the animals cope with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius (104F) by providing coolers, special roofs and regular hose-downs. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #
Gleu Sunpooja stands in front of Stonehenge as solstice revelers celebrate the arrival of the midsummer sunrise at the megalithic monument near Salisbury, England, on June 21, 2012. Cloudy skies and a Met Office weather warning for heavy rain meant the numbers of revelers who annually gather at the 5,000 year old stone circle to see the sunrise on the Summer Solstice was down on previous years. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images) #
A couple celebrates summer solstice at a stone carved solstice marker at the Kokino megalithic observatory, on June 20, 2012. The 3,800-year-old observatory was discovered in 2001 in the northwestern town of Kumanovo, 70 km (43 miles) north of Skopje, and is ranked the fourth oldest observatory in the world, according to NASA. (Reuters/Ognen Teofilovski) #
Four-year-old Solaris Arias (right) jumps through water spraying from an open fire hydrant in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 20, 2012. Much of the state remained under a heat advisory Tuesday afternoon because of the steamy air mass that has moved into the region resulting in temperatures in the 90s. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) #
A boy slips down a waterslide in the German city of Hameln on May 22, 2012 as temperatures rose to up to 30 degrees Celsius (86F). (Julian Stratenschulte/AFP/Getty Images) #
Thousands of yoga enthusiasts convene in New York's Times Square to mark the summer solstice, on June 20, 2012. Temperatures climbed to near 100 degrees (37C). (AP Photos/Mark Lennihan) #
Cows stand in a sunny pasture on Litzlalm mountain near Weissbach in the Austrian province of Salzburg, on June 20, 2012. The weather forecast predicted temperatures up to 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country. (AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson) #
Forks of lightning during a thunderstorm on June 20, 2012 in Warsaw, Poland. (Alex Grimm/Getty Images) #
William Murray, a Boston University manager in Facilities Management and Planning and beekeeper, removes a chair covered in a swarm of bees at Boston University Commencement 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 20, 2012. (Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi) #
The biggest bore tide of the summer roared into Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage, Alaska, on June 5, 2012. Here a kayaker awaits the bore tide to ride it. Bore tides can happen all over the world, but Anchorage's Turnagain Arm and Knik Arms are the only places in the United States where they occur regularly, according to Michael Lawson a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage. (AP Photo/Ron Barta) #
Dewdrops run down a blade of grass on June 18, 2012 near Trauchgau, Germany. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/AFP/Getty Images) #
Youths jump in the Danube river on June 19, 2012 during a hot sunny day in Vienna. (Alexander Klein/AFP/Getty Images) #
An Indian mahout bathes his elephant on a hot summer day in Allahabad, India, on June 18, 2012. Northern India has been sweltering under extreme heat as maximum temperatures hovered around 45 degrees Celsius (113F) in some areas. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #
Residents block cars and set up a pool on the street on June 20, 2012, in Philadelphia. Temperatures climbed toward the high 90s along the Eastern Seaboard as an unusually early hot spell heralded the official start of summer. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) #
Wyatt Taylor and Marci Hohner lay in the sun as young geese surround them on June 20, 2012, in Portland, Oregon. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) #
Long-tailed mayflies (Palingenia longicauda) fly over the surface of the Tisza river near Tiszainoka, 135km (84 miles) southeast of Budapest, on June 20, 2012. Millions of these short-lived mayflies engage in a frantic rush to mate and reproduce before they perish in just a few hours during "Tiszaviragzas" or Tisza blooming season from late spring to early summer every year. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh) #
Long-tailed mayflies (Palingenia longicauda) mate on the surface of the Tisza river near Tiszainoka, Hungary, on June 20, 2012. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh) #
Fire rages through the forest in the High Park fire west of Fort Collins, Colorado, on June 19, 2012. Eight more homes were lost in the Colorado wildfire that is the state's most destructive on record and which continued to rage dangerously close to a residential subdivision as winds stoked the flames, fire officials said on Monday. (Reuters/Rick Wilking) #
Pakistanis swim in a canal to cool off as temperatures reached 44 degrees Celsius (111F), in Lahore, Pakistan, on June 17, 2012. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary) #
A boy stands with his scoop and his bucket on a bank in Norden-Norddeich, Ostfriesland, Germany, on June 8, 2012. (Julian Stratenschulte/AFP/Getty Images) #
Guests enjoy drinks while floating along the waters of the Boatel in New York, on June 1, 2012. The Boatel, an artist-run hotel built out of more than a dozen discarded boats at Marina 59 in Far Rockaway, offers a sanctuary from nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport and the buzz of New York City. (Reuters/Allison Joyce) #
A movie is projected on a screen for guests staying on boats at the Boatel in New York, on June 1, 2012. Since opening last year, the hotel has been booked most weekends in the summer. A one-night stay costs $55 to $100, and profits go to support a small but thriving art community. (Reuters/Allison Joyce) #
A participant of the the "Dirndlspringen" contest jumps into a swimming pool in Vienna, on June 16, 2012. At Dirndlspringen, a jury votes on the best performance of people jumping into a swimming pool in traditional Austrian Dirndl dresses. (Reuters/Herwig Prammer) #
Ukrainian soccer fans react after their Group D Euro 2012 soccer match against France was suspended because of heavy rain at the Donbass Arena in Donetsk, on June 15, 2012. (Reuters/Felix Ordonez) #
A Bengal Tiger named Akasha dives into the water after a piece of meat at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom on June 20, 2012 in Vallejo, California. On the first day of summer, temperatures in the San Francisco Bay Area ranged from the mid seventies by the coast to mid nineties inland. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #
People attend the Summer Night Concert (Sommernachtskonzert) of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in Vienna, on June 7, 2012. The popular open-air concert with free admission is visited by around 100,000 people and takes place in the setting of Schoenbrunn palace and its baroque gardens. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
A newlywed couple from Poland prepare to kiss during the Sommernachtskonzert in Vienna, on June 7, 2012. (Reuters/Lisi Niesner) #
A man carries a child across a manmade beach at a park during summer in Beijing, on June 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) #
An Indian youth swims in the Dhansari river as she cools off during a hot summer day in Dimapur, India's northeastern state of Nagaland, on May 19, 2012. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #
Third-grader Elsie Andre peers into her net to see if she captured a dragonfly as part of Ecology Day Camp at the University of Mississippi Biological Field Station in Abbeville, Mississippi, on June 13, 2012. The camp, which is held each summer, features a curriculum focused on the importance of the natural world through various outdoor activities. (AP Photo/University of Mississippi, Nathan Latil) #
A man jumps into a lake, located on the Tatyshev Island in the middle of the Yenisei River, with the air temperature at about 30 degrees Celsius (86F) in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, on June 14, 2012. (Reuters/Ilya Naymushin) #

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