In remembrance of John the Baptist's birth.
Bonfires are the most known and used symbol of midsummer, but there are plenty of other things connected to the solstice too. In old times this was the day they celebrated the solstice, and there were alot of danger to be aware of, All things good and evil was coming forward around the solstice, and fire was a good way to help strenghten the power of the sun. Many people sought the church this day, probably to pray and ensure them selves against all evil.
There were a strong belief that witches was out flying this night together with the black one, he who has a green tail and a pitchfork.( never mention him by his real name. :) am I a bit influenced of old superstition too? )
Around here, it's said that the household didn't sleep in their beds this night, ( of course not, out partying I would call it.) the beds should be clean and done for the dead ones to sleep in. The dead ones who once belonged to the household.
The livestock were protected by drawing a tar cross on their forehead.
This was the best time to gather herbs, and young girls could pick 7 different wild flowers and put them under their pillow. During the night they could possibly see/ dream of the person they would be married to. Water could have magic power coming night. This day announced the weather for coming summer. Every other weathersign was outdone by this one.
If it was raining, the Autumn would appear early.Other weathermarks could be: high flying swallows, meant good weather. If the swallows flew low in the sky, rain was expected. The same with ants, ants in top of straws meant wet weather. It was also a good sign if some specific birds nested high in the treetop, good weather. I'm sure you all know some different weather marks from where you live, it seems they're still alive.
Sun, cross,three men, hourglass and on my stick a church.
It is always exciting to see what can be done to my original painting in picasa. Some of them simply can't take colors, while others are "growing" with use of colors. No matter what, I end up liking the result and todays piece is no exception.