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Midsummers eve dating uk

On that one night it ripens from twelve to one, and then it falls and disappears instantly…It has the wonderful property of making people invisible.” The evidence for Ireland is much more abundant than in Scotland, and as one might expect, it follows the same lines; bonfires and blessings of livestock and crops with blazing bushes, along with more specific customs such as the gathering of St John’s Wort.In addition to all of this were the patterns – religious gatherings that were often focused on the hillsides, loughs and holy wells.These were often as notorious for their faction fighting as they were renowned for the votive rounds that were made by the pilgrims in attendance, or the accompanying dancing, drinking, eating, games and other kinds of amusements.The pattern of Glendalough, is said to have been “…an unsafe locality unless a stipendiary magistrate and about 100 police could keep the combatants, the Byrnes, Tools and Farrells, etc, separate.” Such gatherings were eventually banned by the church in the nineteenth century, as much for the violence and drunken debauchery that came to be associated with them, as for the perceived pagan vestiges that clung to them, all though stripped down versions of them did manage to survive in certain parts.In Scandinavian Midsummer rites, the bonfires were supposed to represent the funeral pyre of Baldr and mistletoe was gathered at this time.Certain ritual elements may echo this custom in Gaelic contexts, as shall be seen; otherwise, the strong overlap in the customs found at Bealltainn and Midsummer celebrations suggests a shift in focus from Bealltainn to Midsummer festivities over time.On Orkney, according to a minister writing in the eighteenth century, the peats for the fire were provided by those whose horses had suffered disease, or been gelded, during the year, with the livestock then being led sunwise around the flames.suggesting a natural communal focus, since presumably this position would allow the fire to be seen from the most homesteads in the area (and so they would get the benefit of the flames), while the southerly situation probably provided the best opportunity for the smoke to waft over the maximum amount of fields in the area.

Each man would take a turn to toast, and say, “Lord!By the nineteenth century, Midsummer celebrations could be found across most of Europe and even parts of north-west Africa.With the Gàidhealtachd’s much more insular attitudes, both socially and religiously in many parts, the resistance to adopting such non-native festivities may be explained.Open the mouth of the grey fish, and haud thy hand about the corn.” Midsummer’s Eve was also a time when witches and fairies were supposed to be at their most potent and active.Care was taken not to give out any dairy produce, to ensure the profit did not leave the house with it.The same was done around the byre to bless the cattle and safeguard them against disease or casting calves.Meanwhile, the young men and boys remained at the bonfire, where they waited for the flames to die down before leaping them and then heading home at sunrise.In some bonfires a bone was thrown or placed into it, and this was invariably explained as being symbolic of the animal that would previously have been sacrificed to the fire, or else the bone was representative of a man who was made a martyr (although no one appears to have remembered much more in the way of detail).and torches of heather or furze were lit from the main fire and taken back to the homestead by the head of the house, where he would then go round the field sunwise three times to bless the crops, cabbage and kail and ensure a good harvest.Carmichael gives several charms that were used for the picking of St John’s Wort – or St Columba’s Plant, as it was also known – and notes that it was at its most potent when the plant was discovered accidentally rather than purposely looked for: With its protective properties, the plant was often sewn into the bodices and vests so that it would sit beneath the left armpit of the wearer, thus ensuring no harm should come to them from the likes of witchcraft or the Good Folk, and neither should they be afflicted by the evil eye or the second sight.Fern seeds were also sought after, since it was considered to have similarly potent and protective properties: “Only on Midsummer Eve,’ it is said, ‘can it be gathered from the wondrous night-seeding fern.


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