represents all that is beautiful about summer.
are heavy with plants just starting to bear fruit, the sun is high in
the sky, warming everything. These
are the heavy days of summer that leave us feeling lazy in our hammocks.
Summer - at Allposters.com
solstice is the longest day of the year, with the sun staying out longer
than any other day. After
the solstice, the days shorten, as we move toward the summerís end and
on to the Autumnal Equinox and then Samhain.
celebrations still centre upon 24 June, which is no longer the
longest day of the year. The difference between the Julian
calendar year (365.2500 days) and the tropical year (365.2422
days) moved the day associated with the actual astronomical
solstice forward approximately three days every four centuries,
until Pope Gregory XIII changed the calendar bringing the
solstice to around 21 June. In the Gregorian calendar, the
solstice moves around a bit but in the long term it moves only
about one day in 3000 years.
communities, the plants of midsummer were believed to be the most potent
and were gathered with rituals and rites that would lend abundance to
the village or area.
the custom of standing beneath the sun at full noon, to absorb its light
and heat for the growing season ahead. To feel the sun meant
abundance and hope.
included the lighting of bonfires, dancing round them, leaping the crops
to encourage growth, desire and courtship were considered lucky at this
time as well as fertility enhanced.
and Other Pagan Traditions
Litha is one of
the eight solar holidays or sabbats observed by Wiccans, though
the New Forest traditions (those referred to as British
Traditional Wicca) tend to use the traditional name Midsummer.
It is celebrated on the Summer Solstice, or close to it. The
holiday is considered the turning point at which summer reaches
its height and the sun shines longest. Among the Wiccan sabbats,
Midsummer is preceded by Beltane, and followed by Lughnasadh or