How do you celebrate midsummer.

Aug 2010
16,179
Welsh Marches
#21
The first of May is an old Catholic holiday, where you watched and prayed the night before.

However, it went out of fashion already in Catholic times. And the night ended with fornication and drunkenness.

To the horror of especially the priests after the Reformation, they preached against the custom, little did it help.

Women who ended up with a child from that night and no husband were called grass widows,græsenker in Danish.

I do not know the story of the English word, but that is the origin of the Danish word.
In earlier English usage (Elizabethan period onwards) a grass widow was an unmarried woman who slept around, so the word carried the same connotations as in that Danish sense (presumably by reference to her lying with men in the grass). Nowadays it just means a woman whose husband is often away, I don't know if there has been the same shift in meaning in Danish.
 
Nov 2018
274
Denmark
#22
In earlier English usage (Elizabethan period onwards) a grass widow was an unmarried woman who slept around, so the word carried the same connotations as in that Danish sense (presumably by reference to her lying with men in the grass). Nowadays it just means a woman whose husband is often away, I don't know if there has been the same shift in meaning in Danish.
Actually it does, it is probably the influence of English, which has changed the meaning of the Danish word.

Google just told me the Danish word comes from Middle Low German 'graswedewe'
 
Dec 2017
801
-------
#23
I saw Swedish Maypole-like in my (north-eastern Belarus) celebrations several times. I don't think it's ours. It came to us from abroad? That, I don't know. Maybe we kept it, being most pagan of my people.

@Runa!

Thanks for opening the topic. Whoever we are politically nowadays. I can say we love our midsummer celebration.
 
Likes: Runa

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,434
San Antonio, Tx
#26
Spring is a time for parades in San Antonio, Texas: we have day paradesnand night parades. The night parade is called the Fiesta Flambeau because all the participants in the parade - marching bands and floats -are lit with ten of thousands of lights. Musical bands that participatecome from all over the state, especially fromthe south up to the Mexican border with their Spring Festival Royalty participating,. Of course prominent citizens get to parade around as well. Fiesta week in San Antonio lasts more than a solid week of events that includes the ever-favorite Night in Old San Antonio (NIOSA), the St Mary’s University Oyster bake and lots of events put on by groups around town.

Fiesta medals are big around here and just about any business issues their own which people often wear on sashes because there so many. Schools and businesses often shut down for the big Fiesta Parade that winds its way down broadway and snakes through downtown streets. There is even a night parade down the San Antonio River (the Riverwalk). The Riverwalk has been imitated elsewhere but never equaled.

Locals often rent rooms in hotels along the parade route and invite friends over to watch from the balconies. Some of the events are sponsored by the local San Antonio Conservation Society which is the oldest (and probably most active) architectural conservation society in the US and an organization that owns and preserves some of our most historical treasures. LaVillita is the very old neighborhood near the Alamo from which Santa Anna launched his attack after 13 days of assembling his army. The hapless defenders didn’t stand a chance.

With the San Antonio River and the Alamo and the Spanish Colonial missions (5 in all) and the renowned Riverwalk, this’s is a happening place. While the rest of Texas’ cities were busy demolishing otheir history, San Antoniuo moved decisively to preserve it. Viva Fiesta!
 
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royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,434
San Antonio, Tx
#27
I saw Swedish Maypole-like in my (north-eastern Belarus) celebrations several times. I don't think it's ours. It came to us from abroad? That, I don't know. Maybe we kept it, being most pagan of my people.

@Runa!

Thanks for opening the topic. Whoever we are politically nowadays. I can say we love our midsummer celebration.
Children in the States used to celebrate May Day by dancing a ritual dance around the Maypole. This gradually fell out of favor When May Day became associated withsocialism and communism. I remember it’s when Iwas a child in Canada.
 
Likes: lexell
Dec 2017
801
-------
#28
Children in the States used to celebrate May Day by dancing a ritual dance around the Maypole. This gradually fell out of favor When May Day became associated withsocialism and communism. I remember it’s when Iwas a child in Canada.
IMO Swedish maypole is a sign of fertility if you look at it. Midsummer is also associated with fertility . I wrote on the previous page that

"according to the legend fern plant is blooming on midsummer night. In reality, fern plant never blooms. Couples go in the woods to kiss each other. Midsummer was also associated with fertility in the past. Mosquitoes don't let couples to stay in the woods for long."

Here's a statue in one of our towns. There's another one in the capital. Also in the fountain. The nakedness of the couple is probably highlighting the fact the celebration came to us from pre-Christian times.

http://www.fotobel.by/images/molodechno/molodechno_7.jpg
 
Jun 2017
278
maine
#29
Up in The County--that is, Aroostook County, Maine--there was established a colony of Swedes among all those French-Canadians. The Midsummer festival there will run for several days. There will be a "Midsommer" pole, special dinners and general festivities.
 

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