LONGEST DAY


This Saturday 21st June is Midsummer’s Day, Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. This is the day when the sun rises earliest in the morning, and climbs to its highest point in the sky, which happens at  noon. As it makes its descent, the late setting sun means June 21st provides the most hours of daylight in whole year. The significance of this is the sun returning to the night, as of course, the days get shorter from here on in.  Shakespeare, in his play Midsummer Night’s Dream, tried to show us some of the ‘the other world’ that crosses with ours on this day. Oberon and Titania, King and Queen of the Fairies, with Bottom and Puck (Robin Goodfellow to give him his proper name!) are among the central figures in this comedy of errors, which occurs deep in the forest on Midsummer Night. You may think Shakespeare was just using his imagination when he created a play where fairies and other mischevious characters create havoc which is passed off as just a dream to the humans involved. But those who follow Summer Solstice rituals know this is a day when many worlds can cross over. Celtic Sun Rituals still survive, through thousands of years. People gather on the Hill of Tara, at Drombeg Stone Circle in West Cork, and at other stone circles and special spiritual places, to celebrate this unique time of year. Respect is paid to the tradtions of old, and the spirits of old. Etain, the White Mare Goddess, is honoured in a dedicated ceremony on the Hill of Tara on the longest day of the year.How are you celebrating this year? Will you travel to a stone circle? Perhaps light a bonfire  or a barbecue in the back garden and gather around to enjoy the company of friends, some good food, gentle music and stories, long into the night. What a day to take time to step away briefly from the modern and bring yourself closer to the old ways. Enjoy your Midsummer’s Day celebrations this weekend