Litha is also known as the Midsummers day, Summer Solstice, Alfan Hefin, sun blessing, Gathering day, and St John’s day. Litha is usually celebrated on the 21st June. This is mid-summer and not the start of summer as it is sometimes suggested. From now on the sun power will begin to wane. The sun is now at its highest point and it will slowly descend into darkness. Litha is usually celebrated in joyous rituals that celebrate abundance and the richness of nature. It is time of mad rituals of empowerment, a traditional time for handfastings and as the veil between the two words are at the thinnest then communication with the ancestors and divination is a part of rituals at this time. The ritual attire at this time usually involves garlands of flowers, either worn on the head or around the neck, yellow flowers of St John’s wort being particualy important at this time. Litha celebrations tend to resemble a big party with morris dancing, storytelling, and singing all around a bonfire and then a torch lit procession goes through the town. The litha bonfire is seen as especially important and jumping over, or between two fires are part of a cleansing rite. Couples will jump over the bonfire together five times as this will give them a long and happy marriage, financial sercurity and lots of children.
May 25, 2013