AskDefine | Define midsummer

Dictionary Definition

midsummer n : June 21, when the sun is at its northernmost point [syn: summer solstice, June 21] [ant: winter solstice]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

midsumor

Noun

  1. The period around the summer solstice; about 21st June in the northern hemisphere.
  2. The first day of summer
  3. The middle of summer.
  4. Midsummer Day, the English quarter day.

Translations

about 21st June
The middle of summer
Midsummer Day

Adjective

midsummer or mid-summer
  1. Happening in the middle of summer.

Translations

Extensive Definition

Midsummer may simply refer to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place 24 June and the preceding evening, related to the birthday of Saint John the Baptist. European midsummer-related holidays, traditions and celebrations, many of which are pre-Christian in origin and have been Christianised as celebrating the Nativity of St. John the Baptist as "Saint John's Day" festivals, are particularly important in Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Estonia, but found also in Ireland, parts of Britain (Cornwall especially), France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, in other parts of Europe and elsewhere, such as Canada, the United States, and even in the Southern Hemisphere (Brazil), where this imported European celebration would be more appropriately called Midwinter.
Midsummer is also sometimes referred to by neo-pagans and some others as Litha, stemming from Bede's De temporum ratione in which he gave the Anglo-Saxon names for the months roughly corresponding to June and July as "se Ærra Liþa" and "se Æfterra Liþa" (the "early Litha month" and the "later Litha month") with an intercalary month of "Liþa" appearing after se Æfterra Liþa on leap years. The fire festival or Lith- Summer solstice is a tradition for may pagans. It is a time that they believe the Oak King's reign is over and the Holly King takes over. The power of the sun is at it's strongest. Handfasting which is a ceromony of union, is performed at this time. It is a time for their rededication. Friends and family gather to feast on fruits and vegtables to honor Mother earth's abundant blessings. A fire pit is lit for purification and protection. They also do pet blessings and it is also a fun family time.
Solstitial celebrations still centre upon 24 June, which is no longer the longest day of the year. The difference between the Julian calendar year (365.2500 days) and the tropical year (365.2422 days) moved the day associated with the actual astronomical solstice forward approximately three days every four centuries, until Pope Gregory XIII changed the calendar bringing the solstice to around 21 June. In the Gregorian calendar, the solstice moves around a bit but in the long term it moves only about one day in 3000 years.

History

In the 7th century, Saint Eligius (died 659/60) warned the recently-Christianized inhabitants of Flanders against these pagan solstitial celebrations. According to the Vita by his companion Ouen, he would say:
"No Christian on the feast of Saint John or the solemnity of any other saint performs solestitia [summer solstice rites] or dancing or leaping or diabolical chants."
Indeed, as Saint Eligius demonstrates, midsummer has been Christianized as the nativity feast of Saint John the Baptist: notably, unlike all other saints' days, this feast is celebrated on his birthday and not on the day of his martyrdom, which is separately observed as the "Decollation of John the Baptist" on 29 August. That more conventional day of Saint John the Baptist is not marked by Christian churches with the emphasis one might otherwise expect of such an important saint.
As for his solsticial birthday, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Nativity of John the Baptist (June 24) as a Solemnity, which is the highest degree a liturgical feast can have. It is even one of the few saint's feasts that is celebrated even when it falls on a Sunday; typically the feast of a saint is superseded when it falls on a Sunday. There is hardly any way that the feast of St John the Baptist could be given more emphasis in the liturgical calendar.
The celebration of Midsummer's Eve was from ancient times linked to the summer solstice. People believed that mid-summer plants had miraculous and 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. In later years, witches were also thought to be on their way to meetings with other evil powers.
In Sweden Mid-summer celebration originates from the time before Christianity; it was celebrated as a sacrifice time in the sign of the fertility .
The solstice itself has remained a special moment of the annual cycle of the year since Neolithic times . The concentration of the observance is not on the day as we reckon it, commencing at midnight or at dawn, but the pre-Christian beginning of the day, which falls on the previous eve. In Sweden, Finland and Estonia, Midsummer's Eve is considered the greatest festival of the year, comparable only with Walpurgis Night, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve.

Contemporary national traditions

Australia

Cornish migrants in South Australia at one time celebrated the traditional European Midsummer with a bonfire on the traditional date of 24 June, which in Australia is the middle of winter. The earliest recorded bonfire was lit for this celebration in Moonta, the night leading into June 24, 1862. Similar celebrations began in Burra soon after.

Brazil

The Portuguese Midsummer Day (St John's Day) brought to Brazil during colonial times has become a very important popular event that is celebrated during a period that starts one week before St John's Day and ends one week after. As this nationwide festival, called "Festa Junina" (Saint John Festival), happens during the European midsummer, it takes place in the Brazilian midwinter and is most associated with Northeastern Brazil, but today celebrated in the whole country.
As the northeast is largely arid or semi-arid these popular festivals not only coincide with the rainy seasons of most states in the northeast but they also provide the people with an opportunity to give thanks to Saint John for the rain. They also celebrate rural life and feature typical clothing, food, dance (particularly quadrilha, which is similar to square dancing). Like Midsummer and Saint John's Day in Portugal and Scandinavian countries, São João celebrates marital union. The "quadrilha" features couple formations around a mock wedding whose bride and groom are the central attraction of the dancing. A maypole, called "mastro de São João", is also raised.
Usually taking place in an arraial, a large, open space outdoors, men dress up as farm boys with suspenders and large straw hats and women wear pigtails, freckles, painted gap teeth and red-checkered dresses, all in a loving tribute to the origins of Brazilian country music and of themselves, some of whom are recent immigrants from the countryside to cities such as Olinda, Recife, Maceió and Salvador, and some return to the rural areas during the festival to visit their families. However, nowadays, Saint John festivities are extremely popular in all urban areas and among all social classes. In the Northeast, they are as popular as Carnival. It should be noted that, like during Carnival, these festivities involve costume-wearing (in this case, peasant costumes), dancing, heavy drinking, and visual spectacles (bonfires, fireworks display, and folk dancing).
Two northeastern towns in particular have competed with each other for the title of "Biggest Saint John Festival in the World", namely Caruaru (in the state of Pernambuco), and Campina Grande, in Paraíba state. In fact, Caruaru features in the Guinness Book of World Records for holding the biggest outdoor country festival. As Saint John festivities also coincide with the corn harvest, dishes served during this period are commonly made with corn, such as canjica and pamonha; dishes also include peanuts, potatoes sausages and also sweet rice. The celebrations are very colorful and festive and include amazing pyrotechnics. Bonfires and fire in general are thus one of the most important features of these festivities, a feature that is among the remnants of midsummer pagan rituals in the Iberian Peninsula.

Canada (Quebec)

In Quebec, Canada, the celebration of June 24 was brought to New France by the first French colonists. Great fires were lit at night. According to the Jesuit Relations, the first celebrations of St John's day in New France took place around 1638. In 1834, Ludger Duvernay, printer and editor of La Minerve took the leadership of an effort to make June 24 the national holiday of the Canadiens (French Canadians).
In 1908, Pope Pius X designated John the Baptist as the patron saint of the French-Canadians. In 1925, June 24 became a legal holiday in Quebec and in 1977, it became the secular National Holiday of Quebec. It still is the tradition to light great fires on the night of the 24th of June.

Denmark

In Denmark, the solstitial celebration is called Sankt Hans aften ("St. John's Eve"). It was an official holiday until 1770, and in accordance with the Danish tradition of celebrating a holiday on the evening before the actual day, it takes place on the evening of 23 June. It is the day where the medieval wise men and women (the doctors of that time) would gather special herbs that they needed for the rest of the year to cure people.
It has been celebrated since the times of the Vikings, by visiting healing water wells and making a large bonfire to ward away evil spirits. Today the water well tradition is gone. Bonfires on the beach, speeches, picnics and songs are traditional, although bonfires are built in many other places where beaches may not be close by (i.e. on the shores of lakes and other waterways, parks, etc.). In the 1920s a tradition of putting a witch made of straw and cloth (probably made by the elder women of the family) on the bonfire emerged as a remembrance of the church's witch burnings from 1540 to 1693. (Unofficially a witch was lynched as late as 1897.) This burning sends the "witch" away from us, to Bloksbjerg, the mountain 'Brocken' in the Harz region of Germany where the great witch gathering was thought to be held on this day.
Holger Drachmann and P.E. Lange-Müller wrote a beautiful midsommervise (Midsummer hymn) in 1885 called "Vi elsker vort land..." ("We Love Our Land") that is sung at every bonfire on this evening.

Estonia

"Jaanipäev" ("John's Day" in English) was celebrated long before the arrival of Christianity in Estonia, although the day was given its name by the crusaders. The arrival of Christianity, however, did not end pagan beliefs and fertility rituals surrounding this holiday. In 1578, Balthasar Russow wrote in his Livonian Chronicle about Estonians who placed more importance on the festival than going to church. He complained about those who went to church, but did not enter, and instead spent their time lighting bonfires, drinking, dancing, singing and following pagan rituals.
Midsummer marks a change in the farming year, specifically the break between the completion of spring sowing and the hard work of summer hay-making.
Understandably, some of the rituals of Jaanipäev have very strong folkloric roots. The best-known Jaanik, or midsummer, ritual is the lighting of the bonfire and the jumping over it. This is seen as a way of guaranteeing prosperity and avoiding bad luck. Likewise, to not light the fire is to invite the destruction of your house by fire. The fire also frightened away mischievous spirits who avoided it at all costs, thus ensuring a good harvest. So, the bigger the fire, the further the mischievous spirits stayed away.
Estonians celebrate "Jaaniõhtu" ("John's Night" in English) on the eve of the Summer Solstice (June 23) with bonfires. On the islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, old fishing boats may be burnt in the large pyres set ablaze. On Jaaniõhtu, Estonians all around the country will gather with their families, or at larger events to celebrate this important day with singing and dancing, as Estonians have done for centuries. The celebrations that accompany Jaaniõhtu are the largest and most important of the year, and the traditions mirror those of southern neighbour Latvia and northern Finland.

Finland

Before 1316, the summer solstice was called Ukon juhla, after an old Finnish god Ukko. In Karelia, people had many bonfires side by side, the biggest of which was called Ukko-kokko (the "bonfire of Ukko"). At present, the midsummer holiday is known as juhannus (or midsommar, for the Swedish-speaking minority), and is the year's most notable occasion for drunkenness and revelry.
In the Finnish midsummer celebration tradition, bonfires (kokko) are burnt at lakesides. In the coastal areas that are the stronghold of the Swedish speaking Finns, these are supplanted by a maypole tradition, transferred from Sweden, and pickled herring.
When Finland was Christianized, the holiday was named after John the Baptist (Johannes) in order to give a Christian meaning to the pagan holiday. The traditions, however, remain quite unchanged and survive in modern-day Finland, although they have lost their original purposes. In folk magic, still well known but no longer seriously practiced, midsummer was a very potent night and the time for many small rituals, mostly for young maidens seeking suitors. Will o wisps were believed to be seen at midsummer night, marking a treasure.
A great many people get very drunk and happy. Many music festivals of all sizes are organized on the Midsummer weekend. It is also an occasion when many people look for a relationship (often a rather short one). The statistics for the number of people drowned and killed in road accidents and other mishaps are morbidly counted every year while the number of assaults also peaks. It's also common to start summer holidays on Midsummer day.
Midsummerday is also the Day of the Finnish Flag. The flag is hoisted at 6 pm on Midsummer eve and flown all night till 9 pm the following evening.

France

In France, the "Fête de la Saint-Jean" (feast of St John), traditionally celebrated with bonfires (le feu de la Saint-Jean) that are reminiscent of Midsummer's pagan rituals, is a catholic festivity in celebration of Saint John the Baptist. It takes place on June 24, on Midsummer day (St John's day). In medieval times, this festival was celebrated with cat-burning rituals.
In certain French towns, a tall bonfire is built by the inhabitants in order to be lit on St John's Day. In the Vosges region and in the Southern part of Meurthe-et-Moselle, this huge bonfire is named "chavande".
The 21 June is also known as the Fête de la Musique.

Germany

On June 20 1653 the Nuremberg town council issued the following order: :"Whereas experience heretofore hath shown, that after the old heathen use, on John's day in every year, in the country, as well in towns as villages, money and wood hath been gathered by young folk, and thereupon the so-called sonnenwendt or zimmet fire kindled, and thereat winebibbing, dancing about the said fire, leaping over the same, with burning of sundry herbs and flowers, and setting of brands from the said fire in the fields, and in many other ways all manner of superstitious work carried on---Therefore the Hon. Council of Nürnberg town neither can nor ought to forbear to do away with all such unbecoming superstition, paganism, and peril of fire on this coming day of St. John."

Ireland

In the Irish calendar, Midsummer is one of the four Irish Quarter days that divide the official calendar, and the evening before (St. John's Eve). Many towns and cities have 'Midsummer Carnivals' with fairs, concerts and fireworks either on or on the weekend nearest to Midsummer. In some rural spots, bonfires are occasionally lit on hilltops. This tradition harks back to Pagan times. Irish deities connected with Midsummer include Áine and Manannán mac Lir, to whom Midsummer offerings were traditionally made in County Limerick.

Italy

In Italy, the feast of Saint John the Baptist has been celebrated in Florence from medieval times, certainly in the Renaissance, with festivals sometimes lasting the three days from 21 to 24 June. Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of Florence and Turin where a fireworks display takes place at the celebration on the river.

Jersey

In Jersey most of the former midsummer customs are largely ignored nowadays. The custom known as Les cônes d'la Saint Jean was observed as late as the 1970s - horns or conch shells were blown. Ringing the bachîn (a large brass preserving pan) at midsummer to frighten away evil spirits survived as a custom on some farms until the 1940s and has been revived as a folk performance in the 21st century.

Latvia

In Latvia, Midsummer is called Jāņi (Jānis being Latvian for John) or Līgo Svētki (Svētki = festival). It is a national holiday celebrated on a large scale by almost everyone in Latvia and by people of Latvian origin abroad. Celebrations consist of a lot of traditional elements - eating Jāņu cheese, drinking beer, singing hundreds of Latvian folk songs dedicated to Jāņi, burning bonfire to keep light all through the night and jumping over it, wearing wreaths of flowers (for the women) and leaves (for the men) together with modern commercial products and ideas. Oak wreaths are worn by men named Jānis in honor of their name day. Small oak branches with leaves are attached to cars in Latvia during the festivity.
In the western town of Kuldīga, revellers mark the holiday by running naked through the town at three in the morning. The event has taken place for the past seven years. Runners are rewarded with beer, and police are on hand in case any "puritans" attempt to interfere with the naked run.

Lithuania

At the beginning of the 20th century, solstitial bonfires were common all over Lithuania, but Soviet years have repressed such customs. The Festival of Kupolė (Kupolinės) was associated with the Feast of St John the Baptist (Joninės).

Norway

As in Denmark, Sankthansaften is celebrated on 23 June in Norway. The day is also called Jonsok, which means "John's wake", important in Catholic times with pilgrimages to churches and holy springs. For instance, right up to 1840, there was a pilgrimage to the stave church in Røldal (southwest Norway) whose crucifix was said to have healing powers. Today, however, Sankthansaften is largely regarded as a secular event.
Most places the main event is the burning of a large fire. In parts of Norway a custom of arranging mock marriages, both between adults and between children, is still kept alive. The wedding was meant to symbolise the blossoming of new life. Such weddings are known to have taken place in the 1800s, but the custom is believed to be older.

Poland

Especially in northern Poland – the Eastern Pomeranian and Kashubian regions (but also in the whole country), midsummer is celebrated on June 23. People dress in traditional Polka dress, and girls throw wreaths made of flowers into the Baltic Sea, and into lakes or rivers. The midsummer day celebration starts at about 8:00 p.m. and lasts all night until sunrise. People celebrate this special day every year and call it Noc Świętojańska which means St. John's Night. On that day in big Polish cities (like Warsaw and Kraków) there are many organized events, the most popular event being the Wianki, which means wreaths.

Portugal

In Portugal, Midsummer festivities are included in what is known today as "Santos Populares" (Popular Saints celebrations), now corresponding to different municipal holidays: St Anthony's Day in Lisbon (June 13), St John's Day in Oporto, Braga, and Almada (June 24), St Peter's day in Seixal, Sintra, Póvoa do Varzim, and Barcelos (June 29). The actual Midsummer, St John's day, is celebrated traditionally more in Oporto.
Saints’ days are full of fun and merriment. The streets are decorated with balloons and arches made out of brightly-coloured paper; people dance in the city's small squares, and altars, dedicated to the saints, are put up as a way of asking for good fortune. These holidays are days of festivities with good food and refreshments, people eat Caldo Verde (cabbage and potato soup), Sardinha Assada (grilled sardines), bread and drink red wine and água-pé (grape juice with a small percentage of alcohol).
In Lisbon, in Avenida da Liberdade, there are the Marchas, a parade of the inhabitants from the city's different traditional quarters, with hundreds of singers and dancers and a vast audience applauding their favourite participants. As St Anthony is the matchmaker saint, it is still the tradition in Lisbon to celebrate multiple marriages (200 to 300) and still following the tradition, if you are attracted to someone, one can declare himself in the heat of the festivities by offering to the loved person a manjerico (a flower-pot with a sweet basil plant) and a love poem.
In Oporto St John's is a festival that is lived to the full in the streets, where anything is permitted. People carry a whole plant of flowering garlic with them (or a little plastic hammer), which they use to bang their neighbours over the head for good luck. According to one Portuguese Grandmother, the tradition is that St John was a scalliwag in his youth and the people hit him on the head with the garlic saying "return to the right path". There is also dancing, while the highlight of the night is the firework display over the River Douro.
Across the country the traditional midsummer bonfire is also built, and following an ancient pagan tradition, revelers try to jump over the bonfire, this in order to gain protection during the rest of the year.

Romania

In Romania, the Midsummer celebrations are named Drăgaica or Sânziene. Drăgaica is celebrated by a dance performed by a group of 5-7 young girls of which one is chosen as the Drăgaica. She is dressed as a bride, with wheat wreath, while the other girls, dressed in white wear a veil with bedstraw flowers.
Midsummer fairs are being held in many Romanian villages and cities. The oldest and best known midsummer fair in Romania is the Drăgaica fair, held in Buzău between 10 and 24 June every year.

Russia

Because Midsummer was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strongest, it was considered a good night to perform rituals to look into the future. Traditionally, young people pick bouquets of seven or nine different flowers and put them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming about their future spouse. In the past it was believed that herbs picked at Midsummer were highly potent, and water from springs could bring good health. Greenery placed over houses and barns were supposed to bring good fortune and health to people and livestock; this old tradition of decorating with greens continues, even though most don't take it seriously. To decorate with greens was called att maja (to "may") and may be the origin of the word majstång, maja coming originally from the month May. Other researchers say the term came from German merchants who raised the maypole in June because the Swedish climate made it impossible to find the necessary greens and flowers in May, and continued to call it a maypole. Today, however, it is most commonly called a midsommarstång. In earlier times, small spires wrapped in greens were erected; this probably predates the maypole tradition, which is believed by many to have come from the continent in the Middle Ages. Others argue that some form of Midsummer pole occurred in Sweden during the pre-Christian times, and was a phallic fertility symbol, meant to impregnate the earth, but as there were no records from those times it cannot be proven, and this idea might just be a modern interpretation of the poles form. The earliest historical mention of the maypole in Sweden is from the Middle Ages. Midsummer was however linked to an ancient fertility festival which was adapted into St. Johans day by the church, even though it retained many pagan traditions, as the Swedes were slow to give up the old heathen customs. The connection to fertility is naturally linked to the time of year. Many young people became passionate at Midsummer, and this was accepted, probably because it resulted in more childbirths in March which was a good time for children to be born.
Midsummer is one of the only pagan holidays that are still celebrated in Europe (if not the only). In Denmark and Norway it is referred to as the eve of St. Hans but it's only in Sweden that it has kept its original name. Midsummer rivals Christmas as the most important holiday of the year due to the copious amounts of alcohol consumed.

United Kingdom

In Great Britain from the 13th century Midsummer was celebrated on Midsummer Eve (St. John's Eve, June 23) and St. Peter's Eve (June 28) with the lighting of bonfires, feasting and merrymaking.
In late fifteenth-century England, John Mirk of Lilleshall Abbey, Shropshire, gives the following description of the way in which early Christians attempted to Christianize a pagan holiday. "At first, men and women came to church with candles and other lights and prayed all night long. In the process of time, however, men left such devotion and used songs and dances and fell into lechery and gluttony turning the good, holy devotion into sin." The church fathers decided to put a stop to these practices and ordained that people should fast on the evening before, and thus turned waking into fasting (Festial 182).
Mirk adds that at the time of his writing, "in worship of St John the Baptist, men stay up at night and make three kinds of fires: one of is clean bones and no wood and is called a "bonnefyre" [bonfire]; another is of clean wood and no bones, and is called a "wakefyre", because men stay awake by it all night; and the third is made of both bones and wood and is called, "St. John's fire" (Festial 182).
These tradition largely fell to the Reformation, but persisted in rural areas up until the nineteenth century before petering out.
Other Midsummer festivities had uneasy relations with the Reformed establishment. The Chester Midsummer Watch Parade, begun in 1498, was held at every Summer Solstice in years when the Chester Mystery Plays were not performed. Despite the cancellation of the plays in 1575, the parade continued; in 1599, however, the Lord Mayor ordered the parades banned and the costumes destroyed. The parade was permanently banned in 1675.
Traditional Midsummer bonfires are still lit on some high hills in Cornwall (see Carn Brea and Castle an Dinas, St. Columb Major). This tradition was revived by the Old Cornwall Society in the mid 20th century. Another Cornish midsummer celebration is Golowan, which takes place at Penzance, Cornwall which normally starts on the Friday nearest St John's Day. Golowan lasts several days and culminates in Mazey Day. This is a revival of the Feast of St John (Gol-Jowan) with fireworks and bonfires.
See also Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
June 24, Midsummer Day, the feast of St John the Baptist, is one of the quarter days in England.
In recent years on Summer Solstice, English Heritage runs a "Managed Open Access" to Stonehenge for the Summer Solstice celebrations.

USA

Midsummer celebrations are held throughout the US. The NYC Swedish Midsummer celebrations in Battery Park, New York City, attracts some 3,000-5,000 people annually, which makes it one of the largest celebrations after the ones held in Leksand and at the Skansen Park in Stockholm. This event is cohosted by the Swedish Consulate in NYC and the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. Swedish Midsommar is also celebrated in other places with large Swedish and Scandinavian populations, such as Chicago, Minneapolis, and Lindsborg, Kansas. The Swedish "language village" (summer camp) Sjölunden, run by Concordia College in Minnesota, also celebrates Midsommar.
Geneva, Illinois, hosts a Swedish Day (Svenskarnas Dag) festival on the third Sunday of June. The event, featuring maypole-raising, dancing, and presentation of an authentic Viking ship, dates back to 1911.
The Seattle, Washington neighborhood of Fremont puts on a large Summer Solstice Parade & Pageant, which for many years has controversially included painted naked cyclists. In St. Edwards Park in Kenmore, Washington, the Skandia Folkdance Society hosts Midsommarfest, which includes a Scandinavian solstice pole.
A solstitial celebration is held on Casper Mountain in Wyoming at Crimson Dawn park. Crimson Dawn is known in the area for the great stories of mythical creatures and people that live on Casper Mountain. The celebration is attended by many people from the community, and from around the country. A large bonfire is held and all are invited to throw a handful of red dirt into the fire in hopes that they get their wish granted.http://www.casperwyoming.info/specmerchant.php?id=6726

Neopaganism

As forms of Neopaganism can be quite different and have very different origins, these representations can vary considerably, despite the shared name. Some celebrate in a manner as close as possible to how they believe the Ancient Germanic pagans observed the tradition, while others observe the holiday with rituals culled from numerous other unrelated sources, Germanic culture being only one of the sources used. In Neo-druidism, the term Alban Hefin is used for the summer solstice. The name was invented by the late-18th century Welsh Romantic author and prolific literary forgerer Iolo Morganwg.

Germanic Neopaganism

Midsummer or Litha is listed on the reconstructed Germanic calendar used by some Germanic Neopagans. In modern times, Litha is celebrated by Germanic Neopagans or Heathens who emphasize the reconstruction of Anglo-Saxon Germanic paganism.

Wicca

Litha is one of the eight solar holidays or sabbats observed by Wiccans, though the New Forest traditions (those referred to as British Traditional Wicca) tend to use the traditional name Midsummer. It is celebrated on the Summer Solstice, or close to it. The holiday is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest. Among the Wiccan sabbats, Midsummer is preceded by Beltane, and followed by Lughnasadh or Lammas.

See also

Notes

References

  • The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles
  • The Stations of the Sun
  • Customs, Ceremonies and Traditions of the Channel Islands
midsummer in Old English (ca. 450-1100): Middansumer
midsummer in Asturian: Foguera de San Xuan
midsummer in Bulgarian: Еньовден
midsummer in Danish: Sankt Hans
midsummer in German: Mittsommerfest
midsummer in Estonian: Jaanipäev
midsummer in Spanish: Festividad de San Juan
midsummer in Esperanto: Somermeza festo
midsummer in French: Fête de la Saint-Jean
midsummer in Korean: 중하절
midsummer in Croatian: Ivanjski krijesovi
midsummer in Dutch: Midzomerfeest
midsummer in Norwegian: Sankthans
midsummer in Norwegian Nynorsk: Jonsok
midsummer in Romanian: Sanzienele|Dragaica
midsummer in Russian: Иван Купала
midsummer in Finnish: Juhannus
midsummer in Swedish: Midsommar
midsummer in Chinese: 仲夏節
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1