In the Celtic Gaelic culture, it appears that this festival was of much less important as the 4 main fire feasts but it is tremendously likely that they did celebrate it nonetheless. Our Own Druidry suggests that these Gaelic countries may have absorbed Viking lore and we do have neighbor cultures such as the Welsh celebration of Alban Hefin to look at in terms of celebration at this time of year. (Our Own Druidry, 60)
Alban Hefin is a "Spirit night" and is a time when the Fairies/Sidhe are active and their presence is stronger among us. The other "spirit night" high days are Beltane and Samhain. Summer Solstice is the time of the longest days and the most warmth for our Earth. Aine, queen of the faeries was honored in Irish cultures, and plants were collected for their magical abilities. This was the time to make sun teas and to eat fresh food, outside in the sunlight.
There is a strong duality to Midsummer. On one hand it is the longest day of the year, full of the most brightness. It is a time for growing, celebration and joy, but on the other hand, it is the birth of night. Each day after Midsummer, the night grows longer until Autumn Equinox, when night and day balance. Finally by Yule the light is at its weakest, overcome by darkness, only to be reborn again and spend the next half of the year growing stronger.
It's both amazing to celebrate the season and yet to mourn the light as we enter the dark half of the year from that point forward. This time of year really invokes a lot of future thought and I especially enjoy spending time in the sunshine, dancing and leaving offerings to the Nature Spirits and finding ways to show my creativity.
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