Midsummer seve dating
This was the midway point of the harvest season in agrarian times, and as such, it was considered important to try to affect good fortune and good luck on Midsummer, with much emphasis on warding off evil spirits and negativity.Like in every major Scandinavian tradition, celebrating with others goes hand in hand with good holiday food.This is done in Denmark in memory of the Church's witch burnings of the 16th and 17th century.Known as Sankthansaften or in earlier times "Jonsok" (which means "John's wake"), Midsummer in Norway is marked by ceremonies that evolved from Christianity, which included pilgrimages to holy sites.Midsummer’s Eve activities in Sweden include gathering around a flower-festooned maypole (Denmark holiday traditions include singing “Vi elsker vort land” (“We Love Our Land”) and building a bonfire where a symbolic straw witch is sacrificed in remembrance of church-sanctioned witch burnings in the 16th and 17th centuries.Traditional foods, such as pickled herring, smoked fish, new potatoes, and strawberries, are served, along with beer and schnapps. Although the meaning of the holiday has changed, some pagan customs still persist, such as the bonfires, which originally were believed to ward off evil spirits, and the focus on nature, which harkens back to when plants and water were thought to have magical healing powers on Midsummer’s Eve.Regulations for fire protection have been strengthened in the past decades, and today, there are far fewer bonfires than before.
In Sweden, where the festival is called "Midsommar", houses are decorated inside and out with wreaths and flower garlands.Midsummer was originally a fertility festival with many customs and rituals associated with nature and with the hope for a good harvest the coming fall/autumn.The Scandinavian Midsummer traditions stem from pagan times, showing the defeat of darkness to the powers of the sun god.Midsummer is also known as Ivan Kupala Day, Summer Solstice, and Adonia among others.Midsummer celebrations involve communities coming together, feasting, festivals, singing, Maypole dancing, and lighting bonfires.
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Northern European celebrations might also choose to accompany the actual date when the summer solstice takes place.