Midsummer: The Summer Solstice

Today is Midsummer, the longest day of the year.

The tradition of celebrating Midsummer, also known as the summer solstice, stretches back to Pagan times in Europe. It is to honour the coming of a new season and the longest stretch of sunlight in the year. The day is still celebrated widely in Europe, especially in Sweden, Finland, and Germany.

Typical festivals activities include dancing, lighting bonfires, singing and prayer as well as preparing large feasts to gather the whole family and community together. It is a time to give thanks for the warmer weather that brings with it fresh food and new life.

A Maypole being woven by dancers. Image credit.

Dancing around a maypole is also a common Midsummer tradition. A Maypole is a tall pole that is decorated with flowers and has long ribbons that come to the ground. Dance circle around the Maypole, weaving patterns with the ribbons as they wrap them around it. This dance represents physical health, fertility, and femininity and is only performed by women.

We hope that as we ease into warmer weather everyone is getting the chance to spend time outdoors in the sunshine! Have a wonderful Midsummer, Summer Solstice from the Alpes d’Or Team.

Summer is here!