During Solar Max, huge sunspots and intense solar flares are a daily occurrence. Auroras appear in Florida. Radiation storms knock out satellites.
The last such episode took place in the years around 2000-2001.
During Solar Minimum, the opposite occurs. Solar flares are almost non-existent while whole weeks go by without a single, tiny sunspot to break the monotony of the blank sun. This is what we are experiencing now.
The longest minimum on record, the Maunder Minimum of 1645-1715, lasted an incredible 70 years.
During this period, sunspots were rarely observed and the solar cycle seemed to have broken down completely.
The period of quiet coincided with the Little Ice Age, a series of extraordinarily bitter winters in Earth's northern hemisphere.