Midsummer: folklore, magic and history

Sunlight, flowers and plants

It's the longest day of the year, followed by a short, magical night: midsummer. The perfect time to celebrate summer with flowers and plants, butterflies in your tummy and your favourite people around you.

Origins midsummerThejoyofplants.co.uk

The origin of midsummer

When you celebrates midsummer, you’re part of history. Midsummer is a centuries-old Germanic tradition. People celebrated the summer solstice, the day on which plants were said to have healing and magical properties. Bonfires were lit to protect against the forces of darkness, which were said to run free during the shorter days. So it was a festival to celebrate nature, and more specifically, summer.

Folklore, magic and love

Fast forward to the present. In Scandinavia and the Baltic States midsummer is still an unmissable celebration. It is marked on the Friday closest to 21 June and is still all about folklore, magic and the healing powers of nature. Today’s ingredients are flowers, plants, bonfires, delicious food and drink and love. Love for nature, summer and one another.

Dancing around the maypole

In Sweden for example you dance around the maypole with your friends, family or lover at midsummer. The maypole is decorated with daisies, ears of corn, ivy, fragrant jasmine and summer flowers, together with optional ribbons, bows and lanterns, and it’s the natural centrepiece of the celebration. Between dances you enjoy grilled bream, smörrebröd, a tart with climbing fruit, and chilled non-alcoholic cocktails in the sunshine. There’s plenty of time for that since it’s the longest day of the year.

Midsummer, Insta(nt) happiness

If you’re celebrating midsummer this year, share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #thejoyofplants