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The season of Midsummer (also called "Litha") begins on or about June 21st in the Northern Hemisphere (around December 21st in the Southern Hemisphere) marking the longest day of the year, or Summer Solstice.
From this point forward, the amount of daylight will continue to lessen as the Earth begins it journey into the Autumn and Winter seasons.
The evening prior to the summer solstice, or Midsummer's Eve, some plants were believed to acquire special healing powers. In any case, it is true that most of the Earth's flora and fauna are in their prime at this time of the year, and the air is filled with energy, excitement and the sounds of the wild.
Ancient cultures chose this time of year to show gratitude for the bounty of their crops. Grand festivals were held with bonfires, music and dancing in an effort to thank the universe for the sunshine and rain that would make the upcoming harvest successful.
Modern Day Interpretations
Midsummer is a great reason to have a party and make some happy memories. Gather together friends and family members, possibly some you haven't seen for ages. If unexpected friends are added to your guest list, welcome everyone joyfully! Use this time to show everyone how much you appreciate their love and friendship by holding a modern-day feast in their collective honor.
The ancient bonfires can be represented by fire of any size, from festive torches, to manageable campfires to a full size blaze! What a great time to laugh, sing, tell stories and roast marshmallows and s'mores.
Pack Up Your Troubles...
One wonderful tradition involves making a small pouch out of a scrap of fabric that is large enough to hold a handful or so. Then it's off to the fields to find herbs and flowers to place into this little bag. Favorites often include chamomile, vervain, lavender and wild thyme, but any naturally growing fragrant herb or colorful flower may be used. Upon collecting each item, focus a particularly anxious thought or apprehension into its leaves and petals -- and then stuff it into your little pouch. Later that evening, your pouch is then tossed into a bonfire where it burns to ash, symbolically taking all your troubles and worries along with it.
Celebrating the Season
Although Midsummer Eve festivities are loaded with fun, the season itself runs from the end of June right up until the beginning of August. The spirit of joyful expectancy should surround every day. Special effort should be made to consume a generous amount of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. While enjoying this seasonal bounty, thoughts and feelings of thankfulness and appreciation should be poured into every meal; Each bite should be savored and mixed with intentional gratitude.
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