Celebrating Mid Summer’s Eve

Bonnie Johnson's PostTonight is considered Midsummer’s Eve in many cultures.  Hey, any excuse to celebrate is fine by me!

The celebration of Midsummer’s Eve was from ancient times linked to the summer solstice, it often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place around the 24th of June and the preceding evening.   The exact dates vary between cultures.   People believed that mid-summer plants, especially Marigold had miraculous healing powers and they therefore picked them on this night.   Bonfires were lit to protect against evil spirits which were believed to roam freely when the sun was turning southwards again. (Wikipedia)

Midsummer’s Eve is observed in several countries. It is a national holiday in Sweden and Finland, and the official holiday is typically observed on the third Friday in June to allow a three-day weekend. (I like this idea!) During this time many Scandinavians travel to rural parts of the country.   Midsummer’s Eve activities in Sweden include gathering around a flower-festooned maypole (majstång) to sing and dance, an ancient custom probably related to fertility rites.   Before the holiday Scandinavians thoroughly clean their houses (not so much this idea) and decorate them with flowers and other greenery.

Some pagan customs still persist, such as the bonfires, which originally were believed to ward off evil spirits, and the focus on nature, which harkens back to when plants and water were thought to have magical healing powers on Midsummer’s Eve. (Encyclopædia Britannica)

This time of year has always seemed magical to me.  Perhaps it’s my own pagan past or roots that tug at me still.  I love the long days of summer.  I usually get my best ideas when I’m in water (showering or tubbing) and my garden has a kind of magical appeal to me this year so… ya, I get it.

I must remember to plant marigolds next year.  Anybody up for a little bonfire tonight?250px-midsummer_bonfire

Bonnie

5 Comments

  • jacquie

    I just completed a huge pruning session in the garden and I was thinking yesterday how a bonfire would do the trick nicely and save me all that bagging time. Get rid of all the yard scraps in one swell foop. Hmmmm…
    No fertility dancing around the fire, though. I don’t want to tempt fate.

  • Francesco

    …this is a spectacular time of the year…Excellent idea Bonnie… I’m motivated for a small beach fire with some Pinot Noir under the summer stars… or maybe a little candle light on the sundeck … Some related fertility thoughts will dance in my mind… but I won’t temp any fate… but that “sake” feeling is known to motivate me…
    Smiles )))

  • Rick

    Educating…. I learn something new today, that pertains to enjoyment….. not work, Cool ! There is no time like spring and summer to me! The flowers blooming, the overwhelming lush ( Green )Everywhere ! Which is my favourite very favorite color ! The warmth of the brilliant sun with a mild breeze….. ya boy ! Everything becoming new again, rebirth of God’s creation of the most perishes season in my eye’s for sure! You can almost feel romance in the warmth of the summer….. ahhh nothing like it ! gives me a bit of a youthful feeling to boot, and some time to show off the old guy bod.
    I should have been born in a tropical place because I have no use for winter, except for skiing of course.
    What a great topic Bonnie ! Thanks.

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