All Downhill From Here

Film, London

What angel awakes me from my flowery bed?
Bugger, it’s the rain.
That must mean Midsummer’s Eve is over and we start sliding backwards into winter.

Tradition says that the longest day of the year is the start of the English summer, but I’m not so sure. Different countries regard the equinox in different ways. Ireland considers February 1st to be the start of spring, and for many the year is neatly divided into four three-month quarters.
Here it usually rains through Wimbledon and the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre season, clearing for two fine days in September before eight months of freezing your nuts off.

If we switch to the new proposed Daylight Saving times, it won’t get dark until midnight and we’ll go to work in the dark. That makes no sense at all to me.

Is it just England that’s so obsessed with Midsummer’s Day? Or do other countries do the same thing?

7 comments on “All Downhill From Here”

  1. Martha says:

    Midsummer’s Eve and day (Jaanipäev) is the biggest holiday weekend of the year. The whole country shuts down for five days. Hotels in all the countryside regions – like my island Saaremaa – are packed full. Tonight and tomorrow there will be bonfires in villages across the country – up and down the whole of the Baltic region for that matter. England doesn’t come close to generating the level of Midsummer madness we do here,

  2. Martha says:

    Oh, and tomorrow night I’ll have to burn the wreath I am wearing in that photo in one of the fires.

  3. FabienneT says:

    Martha, your comments intrigued me so I went to have a look at your website. It’s great, I will try and follow your adventures from now on!

  4. Yes, Midsummer is a huge festival in Northern countries, for obvious reasons: when you have such long winters, you celebrate the longest day of the year as much as you can.

    France doesn’t have midsummer celebrations (what a foolish appellation: summer *begins* on the 21st). We have a festival on the Feast of St John, June the 24th. Why St-John, I have no idea. But it’s an occasion to build big bonfires, which people used to jump over: “les feux de la Saint-Jean”. But that’s one more tradition on the wane, and one you’ll find more in the countryside than in the cities, there again for obvious reasons.

  5. Martha says:

    FabienneT
    I’m glad you liked the web site. I was at Eurocon in Stockholm last week and now that my little grey cells have managed to re-enter my brain, I will be posting reports on my adventures at this sci-fi and fantasy convention.

  6. jan says:

    its midsummer today not on solstice day……

  7. Helen Martin says:

    Explain, Jan. Does it connect to the old calendar?

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