Thank you, Humppaporo! That was very sweet from you. As we´re in the theme of juhannus could someone tell me how global mid summer´s night acheally is? I´m only certain about the traditions in Finland (Åland) and Sweden but that´s all..
In the Netherlands is no official celebration of Juhannus (midsummer night!). Some pagans, like us ;D celebrate this night with friends however. Don't know about other countries. I have been reading a lot about your country lately, and that's how I found out that this is one of your most important celebrations. Logical too, to celebrate this!
Oh, I didn´t notice this topic earlier! Very good idea to put this into one topic, thank you Claudia! it´s very interesting to know more about different celebration days and how do different nations celebrate them; you can always learn something new. And this is quite global forum which possibly gives us the opportunity to hear stories from many cultures!
As you said, Juhannus is very important day of celebration here in Finland. Acheally many people name it the 2nd celebration day important right after Christmas! It´s popularity can be explained by the season; we don´t have many warm seasons here so this is almost the warmest time of year and suits for celebration very well! Many people spend this holiday in a cottage with family and friends. Unfortunately, every year few people get drowned because of swimming when they´re drunk...
Before 1316, the summer solstice was called Ukon juhla, after an old Finnish god Ukko. In Karelia, people had many bonfires side by side, the biggest of which was called Ukko-kokko (the "bonfire of Ukko"). At present the midsummer holiday is known as Juhannus, or midsommar for the Swedish-speaking minority, and is the year's most notable occasion for drunkenness and revels.
Most of Finland burns bonfires (kokko) at lakesides and eats smoked fish from the same lakes. In the coastal areas that are the stronghold of the Finland-Swedish, these are supplanted by a maypole tradition transferred from Sweden and pickled herring.
When Finland was Christianized, the holiday was named after John the Baptist (Johannes) in order to give a Christian meaning for the pagan holiday. The traditions, however, remained quite unchanged and survive in modern-day Finland although they have lost their original purposes. In folk magic, still well known but no longer seriously practiced, midsummer was a very potent night and the time for many small rituals, mostly for young maidens seeking suitors. Will o wisps were believed to be seen at midsummer night, marking a treasure.
Midsummer in Finland is celebrated a lot more intensely as in Sweden. A great many people get indecently drunk and happy. It is also an occasion where many people are looking for a relationship (often rather short one). The statistics of the number of people drowned and killed in accidents are morbidly counted every year while the number of assaults also peaks. It's also common to start summer holidays from the Midsummer day.
I've read about Juhannus celebration in a newspaper, it was interesting. In Bulgaria on 24.06. the orthodox church (the ethnic Bulgarians are most orthodox christians) celebrates John The Baptist. We have folk tradition of celebrating "nameday", if one carries the name of a saint, on the day of this saint is his nameday. On 24.06 celebrate people, who carry the name of St. John, resp. Juhannus (Bulgarian equivalents -Enjo, Joan, Janko -male names, Jana, Janka - female). The folkname of the day is "Enjovden " - the day of Enjo. It is called that Enjo goes to the mountain to search for his winter fur-coat and to find snow, because from this date the days begin to shorten. The people, who have nameday, have guests and receive presents. About drunken people - we also have "good traditions," especially car accidents, which is awful, because many of the victims are young people.
Post by DaveTheRake on Oct 11, 2006 23:41:37 GMT 2
Tomorrow it is Virgin Pilar day; this "virgin" is something like a mother for all the Spanish, specially for those born in Zaragoza, where there's a Cathedral devoted to her; also the military civil police -The Guardia Civil- has this virgin as their patroness. Moreover it is the day of La Hispanidad (something like "Spanity") because it was the day in which America was discovered by Colón (Columbus).
Good about this day? If you're working you've got this day free. Bad? There's a military demonstration in which Spanish army shows its "great power". Among our most terrifying weapons we've got the Goat of La Legión... yes, the legioneers march accompanied by a goat... this is Spain
"There's nothing in this world that I want more than having you, And still I've got you in my mind... Oh, Still in love with you" ("Still In Love With You" Whisky In The Jar) -------------------------------------- "Dios y el diablo son de aquí, Pongamos que hablo de... vivir"
"God and the devil are from here Let's say I'm talking about... living" (Joaquín Sabina: "Yo me bajo en Atocha")
unfortunately here in england succesions of stupid ignorant governments and religeous dogma means that most of our true celebration days have been stolen away or altered to suit obscure eastern beliefs! some of us though keep the sabbats and solstices and keep the faith alive!