21 Jun 2010

Happy Midsummer Day From Middle-Earth

Time to celebrate, time to rejoice as today it is Midsummer day in Middle-Earth. According to Tolkien's calender today is 1 Lithe in the Shire. Every seven years during the Lithe celebrations an election is held for the office of Mayor of Michel Delving. A very special time not only in the Shire but in Middle-Earth as well as on Midsummer day we remember the union of Arwen Undómiel daughter of Elrond and Celebrian , Evenstar of Her People, and King Elessar also known as Aragorn/Strider son of Arathorn II and Gilraen , that were married on Midsummer's Eve of 3019.

Why is Midsummer such an important day in Tolkien's legendarium ? Midsummer was a very important time for farming and rural communities in ancient Britain , it was usually celebrated on the 23Th or 24Th although the longest day on the year is the 21st of June. The importance of this celebration can be traced back in time, many stone circles and other ancient monuments are aligned to the sunrise on Midsummer's Day. The most famous alignment is that at Stonehenge, where the sun rises over the heel stone on Midsummer morning. In ancient times midsummer fires were lit in high places all over the countryside. Animals were blessed with fire, generally by walking them around the fire in a sun-wise direction, while people would jump high through the fires to bring luck to their own harvest. Tolkien's love for rural life and knowledge of ancient farming traditions and methods contributed to his decision to make this day a very special one for the people of Middle-earth