23 Jun 2011 – The Longest Day!
Today is Sankthans/Midsummer which refers to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice which take place on a day between 21-24 Jun and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures.
The significance marks the ancient middle of summer and is the longest day of the year, originally a pagan holiday. As Christianity entered pagan areas, midsummer celebrations came to be often borrowed and transferred into new Christian holidays, often resulting in celebrations that mixed Christian traditions with traditions derived from pagan Midsummer festivities.
Thanks to good friends and neighbour Mette & Sturla for a yummy salmon dinner last night. Made a simple seafood salad dinner tonight to celebrate the longest day of the year. After today, the days start to be shorter where daylight is concerned. Bonfires are past events for now- until when the grandchildren can build their own bonfires, will then participate again 🙂
Above pix from Budstikka, local area newspaper looks like anything possible to burn can be piled into the bonfire! What a good way to clear your junk 🙂 🙂
In Norway, this day is also called Jonsok, which means John’s wake, important with pilgrimages to churches and holy springs. Up until 1840 there was a pilgrimage to the stave church in Røldal (southwest Norway) whose crucifix was said to have healing power. In most places the main event is the burning of a large bonfire. It is also said that if a girl puts flowers under her pillow that night, she will dream of her future husband… yeah, right; the only thing under this pillow is clean bed-spread 🙂 🙂 🙂
I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was – Shakespeare/A Midsummer Night’s Dream