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Midsummer's Day

The festival is primarily a Celtic fire festival, representing the middle of summer, and the shortening of the days on their gradual march to winter. Midsummer's Day, the middle of summer, falls on on 24 June, after the longest day (Summer Solstice). The longest day in the northern hemisphere is today either the 20th or 21st of June, while Midsummer's Day in Europe is traditionally on 24 June.

Midsummer is a magical time, and there are many superstitions connected with it. Almost all magic is more powerful at Midsummer.

Midsummer dew has special healing powers. Young girls wash their faces in it to make themselves beautiful, older people do the same to make themselves look younger. If you walk barefoot in the dew on Midsummer Day's morning, it will stop the skin from getting chapped. Herbs, especially St. John's Wort, gathered on Midsummer's Day and burnt on bonfires will keep livestock healthy and banish bad luck.
If on Midsummer
Тs Eve, you approach a fern leaf backwards, without looking, and - without touching the leaf - collect the seed (spores), they have to power to make you invisible.
Handfasting was a custom of "trial marriage" where, at midsummer, couples who had announced their intention to marry at the earlier
May Day (Beltane) festival would pledge themselves for a year and a day, and marry at the end of that period if all went well (divorce was virtually impossible once married in church.)

Stonehenge is the one thing above all others which springs to mind when "summer solstice" is mentioned in Britain. Stonehenge instantly captures the imagination. It still holds great mysteries - although much research has been done, no-one knows for certain why it was built, who built it or even how they built it.Midsummer's Eve is a time associated with witches, magic, fairies and dancing.

On the eve of Midsummer's Day, many bonfires were lit all over the country. This was in praise of the sun, for the days were getting shorter and the sun appeared to be getting weaker, so people would light fires to try and strengthen the sun.

Roses are of special importance on Midsummer's Eve. It is said that any rose picked on Midsummer's Eve, or Midsummer's Day will keep fresh until Christmas.

At midnight on Midsummer's Eve, young girls should scatter rose petals before them and say:

Rose leaves, rose leaves,
Rose leaves I strew.
He that will love me
Come after me now.

Then the next day, Midsummer's Day, their true love will visit them.

The festival is still important to pagans today, including the modern day druids who (barring any trouble) celebrate the solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire. For them the light of the sun on Midsummer's Day signifies the sacred Awen. Some occultists still celebrate the ancient festivals around 11 days later than our calendar; this marks the 11 days, which were lost when the Gregorian calendar replaced the Julian calendar in 1751.

Категория: Устные темы (топики) | Добавил: svena (22.06.2011)
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