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Posts Tagged ‘midsummer’s even’

Midsummer’s Day: Pagan or Christian?

Today, author Susana Ellis has dropped in to tell us about her latest release. Susana is a former teacher who is now living her dream of writing full time.

P2The summer solstice, or Midsummer’s Day, is the longest day (the most daylight) of the year. The Midsummer Festival began as a pagan event, with bonfires on Midsummer’s Eve (June 23) to protect against evil spirits and magical beings who allegedly come alive during the night. Gold plants (as gold was the color associated with the day, due to the strength of the sun’s rays) were believed to have special healing powers if picked at that time. As Christianity gained in popularity, the powers-that-be deftly turned it into a Christian holiday, celebrating the birth of St. John the Baptist, who was born six months before Christ.


During the Reformation, the Midsummer’s Day Festival was discredited by many religious authorities due to its pagan beginnings and the lechery and gluttony associated with it. Nevertheless, it still persisted in Regency England on a limited basis as a quasi-religious holiday during the summer months. Vicars intent on following strict Anglican doctrines refused to endorse such celebrations; others took advantage of the day to reinforce the importance of John the Baptist and the Gospel of Christ.

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