If you’re having a barbeque this weekend, take a moment as you chuck a match on the firelighters, and consider that you are in fact participating in an ancient ritual, dating back to when our ancestors celebrated the summer solstice by lighting fires (and jumping through them but don’t try that at home, folks).
Yes, that’s right – it might not feel like it but we have actually arrived at midsummer. You might still have the heating on to take the chill off in the evenings and not yet dared swap to your summer duvet but the calendar tells us that this weekend, not only is it Father’s Day, it is also the longest day (possibly in more ways than one …).
It’s a date that has been heavy with spiritual significance for thousands of years and Pagans still celebrate it the world over as the time of year when the sun is at its maximum elevation and most powerful. With the spread of Christianity the date became associated with the birth of John the Baptist and is also known as All Father’s Day, hence the timing of Father’s Day with the Sunday closest to the Summer solstice.
In Sweden, Midsummer’s Day is still a national holiday, when homes are decorated with wreaths and garlands and traditional festive foods include potatoes and smoked fish, washed down with schnapps and beer.
And if you’re one of the many fans of all things Scandinavian, you can join in the fun at The Scandi Feast, in Somerset (www.scandifeast.co.uk), or why not give your tableware a Scandi makeover from Churchill & Queens China’s fab Sieni Scandie Fishie range.
Happy Midsummer’s Day!