Mid Summers Eve/Summer Solstice

Good luck to all who will travel to the Grange Stone Circle tomorrow morning – before sunrise – back in MB’s Irish HX homeland. And well done to those who attended this morning – the actual true Solstice morning of 2016, today 20 June being the longest (daylight) day of the 2016 year.

A few facts as follows taken from today’s British Telegraph newspaper:

What’s all the fuss about?

The day marks the ancient middle of summer, even though we haven’t had the hottest day.

It has significance for pagans who have always believed that midsummer day holds a special power. Midsummer’s eve was believed to be a time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest, and when fairies were thought to be at their most powerful.

Over the centuries, the June solstice has inspired many festivals and midsummer celebrations involving bonfires, picnics, singing, watching the sun rise and Maypole dancing. Many towns and villages across Britain still mark the day. 

One ritual was the lighting of fires, heralding the start of shorter days, although this doesn’t really happen anymore. The idea was that flames would keep the dark away. 

It’s also a ‘strawberry’ moon…

For the first time since 1967 the summer solstice coincides with a rare ‘strawberry’ moon and – clouds willing – the 17 hours of sunlight will give way to a bright moonlit sky.

Despite the name, the moon will not appear pink or red, although it may glow a warm amber. The romantic label was coined by the Algonquin tribes of North America who believed June’s full moon signalled the beginning of the strawberry picking season.

Did you know?

Traditionally, this summer solstice period fell between the planting and harvesting of crops, leaving people who worked the land time to relax. This is why June became the traditional month for weddings.

The first (or only) full moon in June is called the ‘honey moon‘ because many believed it was the best time to take honey from beehives.

MB gives you some photos from his solstice morning 2014 at Grange Stone Circle:





8 Comments on “Mid Summers Eve/Summer Solstice

  1. thank you for sharing . I am traveling to be there for it this year. I am so excited!
    Is there a ritual that takes place at all?
    I am hoping to make my way to KnocÁiney after the sunrise 🙂


    • Hi Maggie.
      Best of luck with your trip. Obviously, if it’s a cloudy morning, it will be disappointing not to see the sunrise. Regardless of sun or not (but assuming no heavy rain!), you will see many people in attendance, from interested locals to travellers from near and far. Some will be playing drums or chanting. Some people leave fruit on the stones overnight as an offering. It’s a spiritual experience in a very special place. You will not forget your Grange Stone Circle experience. If you use the search box top right of this blog site and search ‘Grange Stone Circle’, or ‘Lough Gur’, the photos will give you a good flavour of the locality. I suggest you travel to the lakefront after the circle sunrise, being at the opposite side of the lake, and only a 5 ot 6 minute drive away. Maybe climb Knockfennel hill (the hill on the right as you look from the lake front); there is a spectacular view from the top, and will only take you 30 to 40 mins to climb it. I recommend that you call into the visitor centre at the lake front for advice, further knowledge, and a tea/coffee!
      I will not tell you where it is, as I am sworn to secrecy, but at Lough Gur exists one of only 4 entrances to the land of everlasting youth (‘Tir Na nOg’ in Irish – search it on this blog site also for more info). Be careful if you stumble across it – it is guarded!
      On then to Knockainey, or Cnoc Aine (the Hill of Aine) – the Queen of the fairies. Be extremely careful in that location!
      Back then to Reardon’s Bar near the circle for some very nice food, and lubrication (if the thirst is on you). If you will have a car you can find your way around, but if not, just ask any local to drop you from A to B. They are a friendly lot. Best wishes.


    • Hi again Maggie. If you want any spiritual type information feel free to contact a friend of mine back home (also called Maggie!). You can find her on facebook at margaret.ring1 (giving this to you with her permission). Sláinte.


    • Hi again Maggie. If you want any spiritual type information feel free to contact a friend of mine back home (also called Maggie!). You can find her on facebook margaret.ring1 (giving this to you with her permission). Slánte.


  2. There’s something really wonderful and moving about people still gathering at these ancient sites to perform rites that celebrate nature, isn’t there? Thank you for this meditative post to mark the occasion, MB.


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