June is possibly named after Juno, the Roman goddess of youth, women and marriage, or it might get its name from the Latin word “iuvenis”, meaning “young people”. June is when the summer starts. I like the weather in June because it’s warm and sunny without being too hot or humid, unlike July and August. For this reason, it’s a popular month for weddings. In June, sunrise is very early in the morning, many hours before I get up, and it doesn’t get completely dark until about 10 o’clock. In fact, the longest day, or summer solstice, is on or near 21st June.
There are roses and poppies in the garden. It’s also a good month for strawberries. Of course, we can buy them in supermarkets all year round nowadays but this is the best month for British-grown strawberries. The flavour and quality of strawberries are considered the best during this time. We like to eat them with cream and maybe a sprinkling of sugar.
June is a stressful month for children and young people as this is when most of the school and university exams take place. The most crucial exams for school-aged students are GCSEs (General Certificate of Secondary Education) at 16 years old and A levels (Advanced level exams) at 18. They need good exam results to get into their first choice of university.
June marks the end of the academic year for university students. Students continuing their studies the following year look forward to a long summer break but for final-year students, it’s a time of celebrations and farewells. For those who pass their exams, there’s a graduation ceremony. Students receive their degrees and their proud parents come to watch.
The third Sunday in June is Father’s Day. Compared to Mother’s Day, it is a relatively recent invention. The first Father’s Day was celebrated in America at the start of the last century. The idea came from a woman who thought that there should be a special day for fathers, similar to the one that already existed for mothers. It only started to be recognised in England sometime after the Second World War. On this day, families may get together and people give gifts and cards to their fathers.
It has been traditional for many years for the King or Queen to have their official birthday in June. Queen Elizabeth chose the second Saturday in June although her actual birthday was in April. King Charles was born in November but his official birthday is on the third Saturday in June. The reason for this is simple. There’s a better chance of good weather for the birthday parade and other celebrations!
If you would like to learn more about English life, try my e-book, "A Year in England". It contains a text like this for each month, plus a vocabulary list and reading comprehension questions. There are also bonus sections about Christmas and Easter. Click the image below or visit my shop.
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