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Happy Midsummer’s Eve

Happy Midsummer’s Eve

June 23rd is known as Midsummer’s Eve, or St. John’ s Eve. The feast of St. John the Baptist is celebrated on June 24, six months before Christmas, to coincide with Midsummer (according to the Gospel of Luke, John the Baptist was born six months before his cousin, Jesus, which is why this is a fixed date on the 24th). Many of the traditional festivities associated with St. John’s feast day were held the night before, on June 23, or St. John’s Eve.

A Time For Mead

Mid-June was also the time when honey was allowed to ferment to make mead, a wine-like beverage. As one legend has it, a bride’s father would give the groom all the mead he wanted after the wedding, and the term “honeymoon” was used coined. Thus many of our ancestors also referred to June’s full Moon as the “Mead Moon.”

An Old Swedish Proverb

An old Swedish proverb says, “Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking.” This is because after the Midsummer celebrations in June, where many Swedes celebrate, many babies are born in March.

The dew of Midsummer was believed to have special healing powers. In Mexico, people decorate wells and fountains with flowers, candles, and paper garlands. They go out at midnight and bathe in the lakes and streams. In Ireland, many people celebrate by holding bonfires.

Midsummer’s Eve is Herb Evening

Midsummer’s Eve is also known as Herb Evening. Legend says that this is the best night for gathering magical herbs. Supposedly, a special plant flowers only on this night, and the person who picks it can understand the language of the trees. Other Swedish legends and traditions include placing flowers were under your pillow before bed, which will cause you to dream about the one you will marry.

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  • Sandi Duncan says:

    Thanks June Bug! Glad you are finding useful and fun stuff online and in the print edition. The 2011 is at the printers as we type. Happy summer.

  • June Bug says:

    I enjoy the news from the Farmer’s Almanac, really glad I have access to it on the computer. Also, enjoyed reading about Peter and Sandi. The Farmer’s Almanac is household word in my life, it was reguarded as a necessity at our house when I was growing up; which was on a dairy farm in Illinois. Keep on keeping on!

  • If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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    Reading Farmers' Almanac on Tablet with Doggie

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