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Ellwyn's Fairy Glen

Fairy Dance, Williams Holmes Sullivan, 1882

Midsummer's Eve

Jun 21

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand."

~ The Stolen Child, William B. Yeats (1865-1939)

Named for the traditional tune of the same name and a fairy glen said to exist near Tweedbank, Galashiels on the Scottish Borders, this sprightly reel is often performed with three handclaps as the first couple crosses back and forth near the end of the dance! Remember, as Peter Pan said, "If you believe in fairies, clap your hands!" Traditionally celebrated with bonfires and dancing, the summer solstice has long been associated with magical and unusual occurrences -a liminal time during which mortals may be able to glimpse and interact with the fairy or spirit world, but almost always at a price. Take suitable precautions as despite their modern reputation as benevolent spirits, fairies traditionally are almost always bent on mischief, or worse! Many different plants and flowers have been used as protection against fairy magic and mischief. Even oatmeal was said to be a fairy repellent, if you carried it in your pocket or sprinkled it on your clothes or maybe just to be sure, put a bit into your dancing ghillies! 🥀 🌞 🧚 🧚‍♂️ 🧚‍♀️

Ellwyn's Fairy Glen

       

Happy Summer Solstice!

 

Today marks the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. 


Though midsummer celebrations are also historically associated with St. John's Eve, June 23rd, the actual solstice (longest day of the year)  occurs around June 20 or 21st.   Traditionally celebrated with bonfires, the solstice has long been associate with times of strange and unusual occurrences.


Whether your summer celebrations and revels fall on the solstice or a little later on St. John's Eve, you might want to protect yourself from mischievous fairy folk, just in case, by traditional methods such as carrying a bit of iron.


An iron nail in your pocket will prevent you from being carried away by the fairy folk. A pair of iron shears hung on the wall near a baby’s bed was said to prevent the child from being swapped for an ugly fairy baby, a changeling. Horseshoes were also traditionally nailed over doorposts as protection.



Happy Summer Solstice!


And for more on Scottish Fairies and where to find them, click the fairies below!

Ellwyn's Fairy Glen

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

Ellwyn's Fairy Glen

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