Last growing season, while eating lunch around the Innisfree kitchen table, the topic of Midsummer came up in our conversation. How can Midsummer take place on the exact date as what now is considered to be the first day of summer? How can we be simultaneously starting a new season by celebrating it as the middle?
Of course, the answer is pagan. If Beltane (May 1) is the first day of the pagan summer, we can see how the Solstice (which takes place around June 21) could be considered the middle of summer and the half-way mark to the traditional first harvest on August 1.
The Solstice is also the longest day of the year; personally, I always felt a bit confused about how immediately after the supposed "first day of summer," the days start to shorten once again
Of course, these ancient holidays also represented the agricultural growing season, the earth's cycle of fertility and harvest, and like many pagan holidays, these days continue to have significance to many of us in the northern hemisphere, even if we do not always celebrate them they way the pagans did in days of yore.
So yes, Midsummer is indeed the Summer Solstice. And Innisfree Farm--a small, sustainable farm with an emphasis on health, healing and horticultural therapy--will be celebrating Midsummer again this year with a drum circle, dinner, candle-light labyrinth walk, and songs led by the Mystic Voices choir.
2011 Solstice Celebration at Innisfree Farm
When: June 18 starting at 6: 30pm
Where: Innisfree Farm!
What: Mandala drawing, fire dancing (by yours truly) and a drum circle; BBQ salmon dinner; candle light labyrinth walk led by the Mystic Voices Choir
Donations for the dinner will gratefully be accepted. All proceeds go to building the wheelchair accessible toilet
Although often seen as a European tradition, the solstices have been celebrated throughout the world, throughout time, as all people recognize the vital role the Sun plays in growing food, sustaining life, on our planet