Nathan (vovat) wrote,

Midsummer Madness

The date of Midsummer varies somewhat from one country to another, but in the United Kingdom and some other countries, it was the twenty-fourth of June. A few days off from the solstice, to be sure, but so was the Sol Invictus (and, hence, Christmas). Or maybe the solstice dates changed somewhat over the centuries? I think I've seen both explanations. Regardless, happy Midsummer's Day, or belated Midsummer's Day if you celebrated on the actual solstice! Which, this year, was also Father's Day, possibly leading to Oberon expecting TWO presents from each of his children.

Like most old pagan holidays with a large European following, Midsummer's Day was given a Christian makeover by the Church, becoming St. John the Baptist's Day. Not because John had any particular connection with summer (at least as far as I know), but because, according to the Gospel of Luke, Elizabeth was six months pregnant with John when Jesus was conceived. Hence, his birthday would have been six months before Jesus', which is celebrated at Christmas. See how it all works out, even though there's no evidence for Jesus having been born on Christmas, and the story of John's birth isn't supported by any of the other canonical Gospels? Anyway, the Wikipedia entry gives the impression that a lot of societies have combined old Midsummer traditions with celebrations of the baptizing saint. You know, sort of like how people still decorate trees for Christmas?
Tags: bible, fairies, holidays, religion, seasons
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