Monthly Archives: June 2013

Midsummer’s Day 2013

Midsummer’s Eve and Midsummer’s Day

Midsummer

When is Midsummer’s Day?

Midsummer’s Day, the middle of summer, falls on on 24 June, after the longest day (Summer Solstice). Before the change of calendars, Midsummer’s day fell on 5 July.

Why are Midsummer’s Day and the Summer Solstice not on the same day?

The longest day in the northern hemisphere is today either the 20th or 21

st of June, whilst Midsummer’s Day in Europe is traditionally on 24 June.

This discrepancy is said to have been caused by the variants of the Julian Calendar and the Tropical Year further confused by the Gregorian Calendar.

What used to happen on Midsummer’s Eve?

Midsummer’s Eve is a time associated with witches, magic, fairies and dancing.

On the eve of Midsummer’s Day, many bonfires were lit all over the country. This was in praise of the sun, for the days were getting shorter and the sun appeared to be getting weaker, so people would light fires to try and strengthen the sun.

Midsummer’s Eve today

Practice of this ancient ritual, which also includes a Summer Solstice Circle Dance, is now mainly confined to Cornwall, the West Country, and London’s Hampstead Heath.

Midsummer’s Superstitions

Roses are of special importance on Midsummer’s Eve. It is said that any rose picked on Midsummer’s Eve, or Midsummer’s Day will keep fresh until Christmas.

At midnight on Midsummer’s Eve, young girls should scatter rose petals before them and say:

Rose leaves, rose leaves,
Rose leaves I strew.
He that will love me
Come after me now.

Then the next day, Midsummer’s Day, their true love will visit them.

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Father’s Day in United Kingdom

Father’s Day is held on the third Sunday of June in the United Kingdom. It is a day to honor fathers and father figures, such as grandfathers and fathers-in-law. Many people make a special effort to visit their fathers or to send them a card or gifts.

Kissing Daddy

Fathers are appreciated on Father’s Day.

What do people do?

On Father’s Day, many people make a special effort to visit their father. They often take or send cards and gifts. Common Father’s Day gifts are ties, socks, underwear, sweaters, slippers and other items of clothing. Other people give tools for household maintenance or garden work, luxury food items or drinks.

Many Father’s Day gifts have slogans such as “The World’s Best Dad”, “For My Father” or just a simple “Dad” on them. The increase in print-on-demand services offered by photo processing companies has made personalized gifts even more popular for Father’s Day. Photographs of children can be printed on desk calendars, mugs, T-shirts, mouse mats, bags and even ties. Many fathers are expected to take these to the office to remind them of their families while they are working.

In the days and weeks before Father’s Day, many schools, Sunday schools and children’s organizations help their pupils to prepare a handmade card or gift for their father. Mothers and other family members may help children to make personalized gifts, such as calendars with drawings made by the children.

Some families celebrate Father’s Day by planning an outing or weekend trip, perhaps just for the male members of the family. This may be a simple walk in the countryside or a whole planned “experience”. Popular Father’s Day experiences include driving a fire engine, rally car, tank or even airplane or taking a golf, football or cricket lesson with a celebrity coach. Other families organize a special meal at home or in a pub or restaurant. A common Father’s Day meal is a traditional roast dinner with meat, stuffing, potatoes and vegetables, which can be eaten in a pub and accompanied by pints of ale or lager.

Public life

Father’s Day is not a bank holiday. In terms of public life, it is a normal Sunday. Public transport systems run to their normal timetables. Pubs and restaurants may be busy, as people take their fathers out for a meal to celebrate.

Background

There are some suggestions that the idea of Father’s Day may originate in pagan sun worship. Some branches of paganism see the sun as the father of the universe. Since the summer solstice occurs around the same time of year as Father’s Day, some people see a link between the two.

The idea of a special day to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood was introduced from the United States. There, a woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by the American Mother’s Day celebrations to plan a day to honor fathers. Father’s Day has been celebrated in June since 1910 in the USA. The celebrations in the United Kingdom are thought to have been inspired by the American custom of Father’s Day. This is in contrast to Mother’s Day, which has a very different history in the United States and the United Kingdom.

 

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Queen Elizabeth celebrates 60th coronation anniversary

Queen Elizabeth Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Queen Elizabeth II has been celebrating 60 years since her coronation.

The British monarch is spending the anniversary in private.

A commemorative service will be held on Tuesday in Westminster Abbey, where the young Elizabeth was crowned.

Earlier this week, the queen visited the London barracks of Lee Rigby, the soldier killed in a brutal attack in the UK capital last month that shocked the nation.

The queen was crowned on 2nd June 1953, at the age of 27.

The coronation took place more than a year after Elizabeth acceded to the throne, to allow a period of mourning for her father King George VI.

Six decades on a festival will be held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in July to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

 

Queen Elizabeth has two big milestones to celebrate this year, as this month marks her Royal Majesty’s 60th anniversary on the throne and Prince William and Kate Middleton welcome their baby.

Elizabeth’s coronation took place in June of 1953, when she took the seat her father vacated. Last year, England celebrated with a Diamond Jubilee that included a concert at the palace, a derby, and a thousand boats which were part of a pageant on the River Thames. She’ll get another big party in July, which is around the time Will and Kate will become new parents.

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