19 Facts About Midsummer


Midsummer is a celebration of the season of summer usually held at a date around the summer solstice.

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In Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Midsummer's festival is a public holiday.

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Midsummer complained about those who went to church, but did not enter, and instead spent their time lighting bonfires, drinking, dancing, singing and following pagan rituals.

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For many families Midsummer is the time when they move to the countryside to their summer cottage by the sea or lake.

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Midsummer is a Finnish Flag Day: the national flag is hoisted at 6 pm on Midsummer's Eve and flown throughout the night until 9 pm the next evening.

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In France, the, traditionally celebrated with bonfires that are reminiscent of Midsummer's pagan rituals, is a Catholic festivity in celebration of Saint John the Baptist.

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Midsummer is commonly called John's Day in Lithuania, and is known as Saint Jonas' Festival, Rasos, Kupole, Midsummer Day and St John's Day.

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Midsummer is dressed as a bride, with wheat wreath, while the other girls, dressed in white wear a veil with bedstraw flowers.

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Midsummer fairs are held in many Romanian villages and cities.

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Midsummer tradition is especially strong in northern areas of the country, such as Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country, where one can easily identify the rituals that reveal the pagan beliefs widespread throughout Europe in Neolithic times.

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Midsummer's Eve is a de facto public holiday in Sweden with offices and many shops closed.

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Up to the present day, the Rus' Midsummer Night is known as one of the most expressive Kyiv Rus' folk and pagan holidays.

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In Great Britain from the 13th century, Midsummer was celebrated on Midsummer Eve and St Peter's Eve with the lighting of bonfires, feasting, and merrymaking.

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The Chester Midsummer Watch Parade, begun in 1498, was held at every Summer Solstice in years when the Chester Mystery Plays were not performed.

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Traditional Midsummer bonfires are still lit on some high hills in Cornwall.

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Midsummer festivals are celebrated throughout Scotland, notably in the Scottish Borders where Peebles holds its Beltane Week.

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Midsummer invented a legend in which the lady of Smailholm Tower, near Kelso, keeps vigil by the midnight fires three nights in a row and is visited by her lover; but when her husband returns from battle, she learns he slew that lover on the first night, and she has been entertained by a very physical ghost.

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Midsummer celebrations held throughout the United States are largely derived from the cultures of immigrants who arrived from various European nations since the 19th century.

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Swedish Midsummer is celebrated in other places with large Swedish and Scandinavian populations, such as Rockford, Illinois, Chicago, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Lindsborg, Kansas.

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