THE days are longer, the evenings are lighter and the mood is generally brighter during summer.
Summer has officially begun (depending on how you calculate it) and you are no doubt looking forward to sizzling days in the park or garden. Here we reveal the all important 2018 dates you need to look out for this year.
Getty Images Summer, and hopefully warm weather is just around the corner
When does summer start in the UK?
There are a couple of ways of calculating when the season starts, depending on whether you mean the astronomical summer and the meteorological summer.
The meteorological summer is defined as June, July and August, so always begins on Thursday, June 1 and ends on August 31.
This year the astronomical summer starts Thursday, June 21, on a day which is known as the summer solstice.
Around this time we will enjoy the most daylight of the calendar year, as the sun reaches its most northern point in the sky at noon, local time.
Summer will come to an end on September 23.
Getty Images This year summer starts on Wednesday, June 21, on a day which is known as the summer solstice
How is the first day of summer decided?
The seasons occur as the Earth’s axis is on a tilt from the sun, so different parts of the world receive more solar energy than others.
They can be calculated using both astronomic or meteorological methods.
The astronomical seasons are based on the Earth’s journey around the sun, with the four quarters of the orbit determining our four seasons.
Getty Images Chilly days are nearly behind us as we head towards summer
The meteorological seasons are based on splitting the calendar up into four chunks of three months each.
Loosely the seasons are defined as Spring (March, April, May), Summer (June, July, August), Autumn (September, October, November) and Winter (December, January, February).