Saturday, 21 June 2014

Reflections on Midsummer

It's Midsummer Night, and then it will be the Summer Solstice. It's called the "longest day of the year" as it will have the most daylight hours and the shortest night in the year. As the Summer solstice has returned again, I've posted about this subject before each year. This time I will create two posts during the solstices, to discuss a personal reflection of nature, spirits and magic.

As a kid, my experiences of the summer solstice has been that I knew little about it, except that my grandmother used to mention it briefly. I didn't know exactly what it meant. Not until my teens when I read loads of books, studied folklore, art, history and science. So in hindsight, the little kid me not knowing the traditions and myths of ancient times, experienced interesting things during midsummer.

People celebrate the Summer Solstice usually by making a flame, large and small, from bonfires to little candles. It's said to keep evil spirits away because the Summer Solstice is when these things appear in droves. Instead of feeling afraid, people party instead. So the weird fact is that despite it's supernatural leanings, the Summer Solstice is full of energy. The sun itself appears to remain still in the sky and night time is almost a blink between twilights. It's true that there are many reports of hauntings and strange phenomena during the Summer Solstice, as with both solstices and both equinoxes.

Does the Summer solstice effect the earth itself? Yes. It greatly alters the seasons and causes a change in the habits of animals' behaviour. The darker impact may be that many natural disasters have happened during and near midsummer. The more aggressive and venomous creatures emerge in the season and outbreaks of ticks, headlice, other parasites and transmitted diseases. People get stung more during this time and can get damaged skin due to both the heat and too much exposure to the strong Summer sunlight.

Summer Solstice events in the last few decades:

In 1981, a mysterious fire in a London tube station on the Northern Line, killed a man and injured a few others.
Prince William was born in 1982.
In 1989 police arrest about 250 people at the site of Stonehenge.
1990 an earthquake killed thousands of people in Iran.
Greenland starts to become independant from Denmark in 2009.
In 2013 many people died from severe floods in North India. 

Summer Solstice events in the future:

Russia will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Quarta will host it in 2022.
England and Wales will host the Cricket World Cup.
India will send manned missions to the moon in 2020.
ESA plans to journey to Jupiter's moons in 2022.
The first humans to colonise Mars in 2024.
People in 2039 living in the Northern hemisphere will see an Annular solar eclipse.

Okay the next post will be later in the year when the next solstice comes.

(Picture at the top)
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" by artist Shawli Chen.

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