Midsummer, also known as St John's Day, is the period of time centred upon the summer solstice, more specifically the Nothern European celebration that accompany summer solstice, or take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening. The Christian Church designated June the 23 as the feast day of the early Christian martyr St John the Baptist, and the observance of St John's Day begins the evening before, known as St John's Eve.
These are commemorated by many Christian denominations. The concentration of the observance is not on the day as we reckon it,
commencing at midnight or at dawn, as it is customary for cultures
following lunar calendars to place the beginning of the day on the
previous eve at dusk at the moment when the Sun has set.In Sweden, Finland, Latvia and Estonia, Midsummer's Eve is the greatest festival of the year, comparable only with Walpurgis Night, Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve.
The Jordan river and St John And now about the customs is some splace all over the world.
Ancient Romans would hold a festival to honor the god Summanus on June 20. As Christianity entered pagan areas, midsummer celebrations came to be
often borrowed and transferred into new Christian holidays, often
resulting in celebrations that mixed Christian traditions with
traditions derived from pagan Midsummer festivities.
Let us speak of the revels which are accustomed to be made on St. John's
Eve, of which there are three kinds.
On St. John's Eve in certain
regions the boys collect bones and certain other rubbish, and burn them,
and there from a smoke is produced on the air. They also make brands and
go about the fields with the brands. Thirdly, the wheel which they
Fire is the most typical element associated with the Saint John's Eve celebration. In many countries, such as Croatia, bonfires are lit on the evening of 23 June for people to jump over.
the midsummer solstice is celebrated each year with a spectacular
procession of ships down the Danube River as it flows through the wine-growing Wachau Valley
just north of Vienna. Up to 30 ships sail down the river in line as
fireworks erupt from the banks and hill tops while bonfires blaze and
the vineyards are lit up. Lighted castle ruins also erupt with fireworks
during the 90-minute cruise downstream.
Many towns and cities have 'Midsummer Carnivals' with fairs, concerts and fireworks
either on or on the weekend nearest to Midsummer. In rural spots
particularly the northwest, bonfires are lit on hilltops. This tradition
harks back to pagan times and is now associated with "St. John's
Night". The Irish Environmental Protection Agency,
after much initial upset in the west of Ireland, has an exemption for
the burning of fires outdoors during midsummer night. Traditionally the
longest day of the year in Ireland falls on June 21.
I In Croatia the feast is called Ivanje (Ivan being being for John). It is celebrated on June 23, mostly in rural areas.
Festivals celebrating Ivanje are held across the country. According to
the tradition, bonfires (Ivanjski krijesovi) are built on the shores of lakes, near rivers or on the beaches for the young people to jump over the flames.
In Italy there is the San Giovanni's day (Saint John).
The feast of Saint John the Baptist has been celebrated in Florence
from medieval times, and certainly in the Renaissance, with festivals
sometimes lasting three days from 21 to 24 June. Such celebrations are
held nowadays in Cesena from June 21 to 24, also with a special street market. Saint John the Baptist is the patron saint of Genoa, Florence and Turin where a fireworks display takes place during the celebration on the river. In Turin
Saint John's cult is also diffused since medieval times when the city
stops to work for two days and people from the surroundings comes to
dance around the bonfire in the central square. Nowadays Saint John is
the patron saint of Turin and he is celebrated on June 24 which is a city public holiday.
Italian neopagans usually celebrates the Mid Summer with rites, dances and festivals all around the country.
In Slovenia s so called Kresna noč used to be celebrated on June 21., but
during Jugoslavia holiday was changed with maj. 1, international workers
day. Kresna noč used to be connected with Slavic god Kresnik, who was
later replaced by St. John the Baptist.
And lets finished whit Shakespeare and his A Midsummer Night's Dream, a comedy play, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1597. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors (the mechanicals)
who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the
forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of
Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed
across the world.
Photos and quotes.
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.”
“Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania”
“Ay me! for aught that ever I could read,
could ever hear by tale or history,
the course of true love never did run smooth.”
“Up and down, up and down
I will lead them up and down
I am feared in field in town
Goblin, lead them up and down”
“And yet, even when all was well, as Shakespeare said, that ends well,
did they say ‘Hey, Kendra, we understand that you made a noble effort.
Why not come to the palace for some champagne sometime?’ Noooooo.
They’re all, ‘Get thee from our kingdom, witch, or it’s the guillotine.”
They’re lucky I didn’t turn them into talking swine.”
Alex Flinn Bewitching