On 21 June of the lunar calendar is marked as the Day of summer solstice. An older name for this holiday is: a Celebration of the summer solstice.
In the pagan culture of our ancestors this holiday had its own traditions and methods of celebrating. They are very interesting and unique. In the pagan calendar of the Slavs this holiday was dedicated to the sun God – the Yarila. To prepare for the morning. Girls wore their best clothes, and adorned themselves with herbs and flowers. Herbs was given the value of the amulets from the dark and evil forces. The most popular were wormwood, St. John’s wort, nettle. They were fastened at the waist.
The guys were busy with another case. They were looking suitable for the size of the tree. It could be birch, willow, chernoklena. Then set it not the place where planned holding of festivals. The girls decorated the tree with scraps of fabric and colors. Called this tree is madder or Midsummer. At the foot of the tree set the image Yarila. They served the doll, the growth in half person. Its made of straw, clay and twigs.
Around the tree were satisfied with the traditional festivities and scorched the fire. In him burned the doll Yarila. All participants of the event had amulets, herbs, wreaths, to confront the evil forces of nature that woke up on this day.
Together with the burning of Yarila according to the beliefs of our ancestors were dying sun, the next day to be born again and to make people happy.
Lita with the Anglo-Saxon dialect translates as “the longest day of the year”. Celtic peoples of Britain itself during Summer solstice says about his past connection with sun worship. Therefore the basic rites and rituals are similar to the same set of rites of the day of the winter solstice — December 21.
The Celts from both days involves a lot of beliefs about supposedly especially powerful at night on the days of the solstices evil spirits. Central to the celebration of these days take various forms of ritual fires.
Big role in rituals to mark these two anniversaries plays green — green branches, flowers, even trees, in some rites of winter and summer holiday has motives of marriage, family well-being.
The connection with the cult of the sun and had a widespread custom among the Scots down from the mountains or steep cliffs of the rivers of the wheel, entwined straw and lighted. Sometimes it was wondering if the wheel was burning all the time while rolling, it is believed that the harvest will be good.
According to the beliefs of the Celts, the mysterious magical significance in this period, a full flowering of the whole nature had and fern: at midnight he allegedly flourished for a brief moment. The Braves went at midnight in the woods to see the fern flower and collect its seeds. Such campaigns were considered very dangerous, as this plant is vigilantly guarded the different fairies and evil spirits. Anyone who still managed to get the seeds, could ostensibly become invisible and watch the dances and games of the fairies in this magical night.
Scots to the same seed fern considered the most effective against the evil forces. From the same evil forces helped collected the night of elderberry and nailed over the doors and gates of birch twigs. Birch played a significant role in the ceremonies of the day of summer solstice in all the Celtic peoples.
In the customs of the day of summer solstice woven many matrimonial motives. In the night of 21 June, many wondered. Wondered and girls, and boys, often using various flowers and plants (mostly St. John’s wort), sometimes some items. In Scotland this night lovers give each other an oath of allegiance, the violation of which is a crime. Such oath uttered or near-megalithic stone or near the revered source and fastened her hands.
Most of the customs of the day of summer solstice is already lost, but in our days in many places of the British Isles June is considered the most suitable month for marriages.
German and Scandinavian celebrate the summer solstice
Germanic, Scandinavian and Baltic peoples magnificently celebrated day and night of the summer solstice. Subsequently these holidays in different countries has received the name of John’s day or Midsummer night (from the national version of the name John). The meaning of the rituals on Midsummer’s day coincides with the meaning Lita: this greeting of the Union of the Sun and Earth, calls for future harvest and prosperity, scaring away evil spirits. For Midsummer day celebrations in different countries of Europe is characterized by the kindling huge bonfires (the higher the fire, the worse it is for evil spirits), as well as jumping through the fire and the rituals of the worship of water (lowering water colors, the burning of old boats in Scandinavia), which is now virtually gone. On Midsummer night, no one went to bed, people walked and had fun, partied and partied until dawn. Some of the rituals of Midsummer day living still, in Scandinavia, the Baltic States and other European countries are held festivities in the period between 19 and 25 June.
Ancient celebrations of the summer solstice
In Russia before the solstice marked the Mermaid sedmitsa, praising mermaids – spirits of rivers and lakes. This week has been closely linked with the remembrance of ancestors, as they had with the ancient European custom of celebrating the rivers of the burnt ashes of soldiers on boats. On the day of the solstice in Russia celebrated Kupala – the end of spring and beginning of summer with his first month Kristem. Rituals Kupala is very similar to the rituals of Midsummer day and Lita, which is quite natural, given the common historical roots of the European Nations. Ancient Rus wreaths, drinking Surya (honey drink), jumping over bonfires, sacrificed water, and fire, collected herbs, performing rituals, calling on the harvest and the “cleansing the soul and body” of bathing in rivers, lakes and streams.
Immediately after the day of solstice solstice occurred, which lasted 3 days during which they celebrated the whole life cycle of the vicissitudes of the God Perun: from birth to death, then the magic of the resurrection and the forthcoming victory over the Skipper-the beast. Perun is one of the most important gods of the ancient Slavs, the patron Saint of soldiers, in charge of the forces of nature and heavenly fire.