Misummer is a time period during the month of June around summer solstice where several types of celebrations are taking place, most notably festivals, bonfires, feasting, singing and maypole dancing. They typically occur somewhere between June 19th and June 25th, although the specific date varies from culture to culture.
By far the biggest celebrations are held in Sweden, where it was also discussed that Midsummer should have the designation of a national holiday. In places all around the country, people dance around the maypole (often singing about little frogs) and cover their houses in greenery, which was thought to bring good fortune and health. People also weave flowers into crowns and wear them during celebrations.
Fire is a common theme during midsummer celebrations and it does not really have a specific country of origin or where it is observed. Many countries light small and great bonfires that last through the night and in some countries, such as in Russia, Ukraine and Latvia, people even jump over them, trying to get themselves some luck.
Interestingly enough, water also has a central part in midsummer tradition. In Poland and Russia, people throw flower wreaths into rivers, lakes and the sea. Supposedly, girls could divine from the flowers’ movements when they would meet their future husband. People living in Puerto Rico go to the beach with their family and friends, where they walk backward into water, dipping themselves into the ocean to fend off bad luck.
Mexico differs from other countries in the sense that one of the biggest parts of midsummer is watching the appearance of a feathered serpent shadow on the central El Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza. This is possible due to great Mayan engineering and thousands of people see it each time it appears.
There are other small celebrations from other countries going on during midsummer; in the US, people gather at the Times Square and have an all-day yoga event. Every midsummer in Austria, ships sail on the Danube River letting off a spectacular display of fireworks. This holiday is quite special for one particular group in Iran. Every year, newlyweds ride on white horses to the foot of a mountain, where they release a yellow cow as a sign of happiness and abundance.
Traditions around midsummer are many, with each culture celebrating in their own way, however, one great constant seems to be fire, with bonfires lighting up in many countries around the world in the night’s evening.
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