Curiosities Of Magical Midsummer Night

Midsummer Night is considered, in many cultures, a magic night. It's the night between day 23 and 24 of June. Since ancient times it was celebrated and coincides with the Summer solstice. It is a holiday in which fire is the main protagonist.

Midsummer bonfire
Photo by nurpax

But did you know that...?
  • This tradition is related, in Christianity, to St. John the Baptist's nativity, as he was born 6 months before Jesus Christ, in the solstice of Summer, and prophesied the birth of the Messiah on a solstice of Winter.

  • Some pagan origin of St. John's Night was the Celtic celebration of Beltaine, and was the 1st of May and meant "Bel's fire", or "Beautiful fire". It was in honor of god Belenos.

  • During the celebration of Beltaine big bonfires were lit, and some people jumped over them with the help of poles.

  • The Druids made the cattle pass near the bonfires to purify them and keep them away from illness.

  • The herbs collected in a date near the solstice of Summer were attributed curative powers.

  • Solstices are considered as magic days in sorcery, as in these days powerful solar energies are present.
Noche de San Juan
Photo by kozumel
  • In the Greek tradition it was related with the cult to Apollo, when they lit purifying bonfires.

  • Ancient Greeks called solstices as "gates". In these dates there were legends and myths of translation, people that disappeared and magically appeared in another place.

  • The Romans made celebrations in honor of the goddess Minerva, and jumped over the flames of bonfires.

  • In the past, it was a date in which farmers said thanks for the fruits of Summer and future good harvest, and saw Summer as a time of fun, harvesting, and rest.

  • Another ancient tradition is dancing around a fire to purify oneself and celebrate the rebirth of the Sun.

  • Fire has a purifying symbolism for all those who stare it.

  • Bonfires are made in which old junk is burnt, as a symbol or renewal and change.
Midsummer on Hohe Salve
Photo by Leo-setä
  • A traditional rite was jumping up to 3 times the bonfire in St. John's Night, to be in good health and luck for the next year.

  • Another tradition was to put bay laurel leaves in the window to summon good fortune.

  • Some people write 3 wishes in a paper sheet and burn that paper at 12 o'clock at night.

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

Some Related Posts: If you liked this post, subscribe to Emma Alvarez Site
give yourself a gift
Stumble Upon Stumble it!
AddThis Social Bookmark Button Add to Technorati Favorites


suruha said...

Blessed Litha, m'dear! Thank you for your magickal posts. You always keep up with this sort of thing and it is exactly what I love. Myself? I built a little fire and thanked the sun for providing us with life.



Emma Alvarez said...

Good thing dear Su :) There is an old custom that is putting some bay tree leaves under the window of your bedroom for example. Bay tree leaves are a symbol of success. Success for you.

Post a Comment