Midsummer

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Midsummer, also known as St John's Day,  is the period of time centred upon the summer solstice, and more specifically the celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures. The Christian Church designated June 24 as the feast day of the early Christian martyr St John the Baptist, and the observance of St John's Day begins the evening before, known as St John's Eve.   
 
Midsummer festivals are celebrated throughout Scotland, notably in the Scottish Borders where Peebles holds its Beltane Week. The Eve of St. John has special magical significance and was used by Sir Walter Scott as the title, and theme, for a pseudo-ballad poem. He invented a legend in which the lady of Smailholm Tower, near Kelso, keeps vigil by the midnight fires three nights in a row  and is visited by her lover; but when her husband returns from battle, she learns he slew that lover on the first night, and she has been entertained by a very physical ghost.

Selected Dances

(click for more holiday folklore and background information)

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" takes place on the magical eve before Midsummer and portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, former Queen of the Amazons, and intertwines the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors who are controlled and manipulated by the fairy King Oberon and his Queen Titania, who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of those special plays which contains another play within it, the unintentionally comic performance rendered by the traveling players called: "The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe."ūüßö ūüé≠

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Midsummer's Eve

Midsummer Madness

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.   Shakespeare associated Midsummer with witchcraft or fairies in at least three of his plays. A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, and The Tempest all contain references to magic on the night of the summer solstice! Take suitable precautions as despite their modern reputation, fairies almost always are bent on mischief, or worse!

Midsummer Madness

Summer Solstice & Midnight Sun Day

An Enchanted Fairy Ring Index of Dances

(click for dance description or cribs)

Jan    Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec

The majority of dance descriptions referenced on this site have been taken from the

 

Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary or the

Scottish Country Dancing Database 

 

Snapshots of dance descriptions are provided as an overview only.  As updates may have occurred, please click the dance description to be forwarded to a printable dance description or one of the official reference sources.

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