"[Midsummer] is celebrated in both Isle of Man and Ireland, though in different ways. Scotland also observes Midsummer celebrations, but the customs are mostly duplicates from Bealltainn.
In Man, this is the time when the people paid the rents to Manannán from the highest hilltop. In Barrule, bundles of grass were laid down for Mannan beg mac y Lear (who often appeared as a heron, and would be there seeking out women to court). Other Manx offerings include yellow flowers.
In Ireland (specifically Munster), this is a day dedicated to Áine, and men would gather on Cnoc Áine on St John’s Eve (June 23rd) where they light torches of hay and straw tie them to poles and process round the top of the hill, then run down it, through the fields to bless the crops and cattle for the following year.”
~ excerpted from Ritual Within Gaelic Polytheism
Cairn G. Photo (c) Denise Joyal
The 2011 festival year is still rather subdued for me. While I don't normally have big extravaganzas, I do make more of a do than I have been recently. I really hate to keep banging on about it (but I think I do because part of me is trying to convince the other that it's okay, sometimes people have bad years) but there's just so much going on that I'm so exhausted. For instance, right now I'm typing this from my grandmother's hospital room.*
But let's talk about the good things though shall we?
We had our first meal from local vegetables this season last week. We opted out on gourds this time in our own garden but my sister's in-laws had a good many and gifted us some, along with green tomatoes. Mmm, fried green tomatoes. Sometimes I just absolutely love being a southern girl. We have three strawberry plants this year but the animals keep getting to them before we can lol.
Some lovely thundershowers lately. I love the way the storms cut through the heat and make the air feel like Spring again. But I'm so looking forward to the shortening days. Gosh, can't believe the grianstad is here already. How's the summer going for everyone else?
* (this post was written on Sunday, June 19, 2:30am cst)