Midsummer Serenade

Midsummer is a salutation to the Great Sun, the chariot of the gods- whisperer of life, light and hope.

Midsummer Festival in BavariaSt. John Festival in BavariaBavarian Beer stalls in St. John's FestPretzles in BasketBavarian Music in St. John's Festivaljohannisfeuer Bavaria

Midsummer also known as Summer Solstice is one of the most whimsical times of the year. It is the longest day and shortest night of the year and is distinguished as the first day of summer. From that whimsical moment of Summer Solstice, the hour of the Sun begins to fade and the journey into the harvesting season has begun.

Midsummer is a time where blooms and blossoms are at their finest . It’s a time for sweet strawberries, blackberries, cherries, currants and more. Lavender, St John’s Wort, Calendula, Chamomile, Tarragon and other herbs are delightfully fresh and potent.  Plump tomatoes, carrots, sweet corn, crunchy lettuce, potatoes and onions are ready for harvest. It is a time when nature’s extravagance is at its zenith before the somber return of midwinter.

Midsummer festival is sometimes referred to as “Feast of St. John” (commemorating the birth of St. John the Baptist) as it coincides with Summer Solstice and is traditionally celebrated on the eve of the actual day. The festival is staged variedly across Europe where Catholic doctrine and pagan tradition combine to create an extraordinary occasion. After sunset on the feast of St. John, bonfires are lit in fields and hilltops to protect against wicked elements. Revelers gather around to sing, dance and jump the fire for love, luck and fertility. Many fires are lit beside natural waters, bowing to the age-old Midsummer ritual of bathing in springs and rivers for healing, cleansing and protection.

Midsummer is a salutation to the Great Sun, the chariot of the gods – whisperer of life, light and hope;

Look at me up here in the cradle of heavens,
I’m a gift to you from a greater being.
In my light all is bright and uplifting,
When all seem damp
I bring hope at the end of the storm.
 
In this Midsummer night,
I am your star taking center stage,
Your applause, dance and songs
Spirals up to me,
Like an incense of sweet serenade;
I will be your beacon in the night’s darkness,
And tonight you shall dance in the warmth of my arms.
 
*The photos above were taken in a little Bavarian village south of Munich 
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