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Midsummer's Day Eve
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Midsummer rapidly approaches, with the sun high overhead and the sky still light well past bedtime (for me).

Robert Louis Stevenson:
In winter I get up at night and dress by yellow candlelight;
In summer, quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day.

It seems wrong, somehow, to let the solstice pass unremarked. I'd like to acknowledge it somehow, so I looked about to see how it is honored elsewhere in the U.S (I imagine Wiccans and Druids in southern California will have a major celebration, unconventional as always).

Solstice fire in Montana: Midsummer celebrations are held throughout the US. The NYC Swedish Midsummer celebrations in Battery Park, New York City, attracts some 3,000-5,000 people annually, which makes it one of the largest celebrations after the ones held in Leksand and at the Skansen Park in Stockholm. This event is cohosted by the Swedish Consulate in NYC and the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. Swedish Midsommar is also celebrated in other places with large Swedish and Scandinavian populations, such as Chicago, Minneapolis, and Lindsborg, Kansas. The Swedish "language village" (summer camp) Sjölunden, run by Concordia College in Minnesota, also celebrates Midsommar.

Geneva, Illinois, hosts a Swedish Day (Svenskarnas Dag) festival on the third Sunday of June. The event, featuring maypole-raising, dancing, and presentation of an authentic Viking ship, dates back to 1911.

The Seattle, Washington neighborhood of Fremont puts on a large Summer Solstice Parade & Pageant, which for many years has controversially included painted naked cyclists. In St. Edwards Park in Kenmore, Washington, the Skandia Folkdance Society hosts Midsommarfest, which includes a Scandinavian solstice pole.

A solstitial celebration is held on Casper Mountain in Wyoming at Crimson Dawn park. Crimson Dawn is known in the area for the great stories of mythical creatures and people that live on Casper Mountain. The celebration is attended by many people from the community, and from around the country. A large bonfire is held and all are invited to throw a handful of red dirt into the fire in hopes that they get their wish granted.

Midsummer or Litha is one of the eight solar holidays or sabbats observed by Wiccans, though the New Forest traditions (those referred to as British Traditional Wicca) tend to use the traditional name Midsummer. It is celebrated on the Summer Solstice, or close to it. The holiday is considered the turning point at which summer reaches its height and the sun shines longest. [from Wikipedia]

So maybe I should build a viking ship replica out of matchsticks and set it afire? Paint myself blue and run naked at midnight through the sprinklers (the temperature is in triple digits)? Any other suggestions?

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