Midsummer Festivals in the UK

June 10, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Upcoming Events

The celebration of Midsummer, the longest day in terms of daylight and the shortening of the days on their gradual march to winter, is particularly important in Northern Europe where summer days are long and winter days short. The importance of the day to our ancestors can be traced back many thousands of years, and many stone circles and other ancient monuments are aligned to the sunrise on Midsummer’s Day – probably the most famous being that at Stonehenge.

Here’s a wide selection of cottages in Cornwall available over the weekend of Mazey Day. There are still some cottages in and around Chester available over the weekend of the Midsummer Watch Parade. Finally, a few cottages to stay on Arran to enjoy the Summer Solstice Wildlife & Bonfire.

The summer solstice has been celebrated for thousands of years. Midsummer fires were lit in high places all over the countryside. It was a joyous time because it marked the longest day of sunlight and the crops that were to come.

Traditional Midsummer bonfires are still lit on some high hills in Cornwall and throughout Scotland. Golowan is a 10-day midsummer solstice celebration in Penzance, culminating in Mazey Day (29th June in 2013), when the streets are closed to traffic and filled instead with numerous parades, live music, dance and theatre performances and hundreds of stalls.

Chester’s Midsummer Watch Parade is one of the UK’s oldest and most colourful festivals when traditionally at every summer solstice locals would walk through the city carrying torches and wearing costumes. The modern-day pageant includes salsa bands, fire-eaters and children from the local area, it takes place on the Saturday and Sunday nearest to midsummer, in June every year (22nd and 23rd in 2013).

This year the National Trust for Scotland are celebrating a Summer Solstice Wildlife & Bonfire on Friday 21st June at Brodick Castle on the Isle of Arran.