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Midsummer morn, anything happening?

Noreen 03 Jul 01 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,SharonA 22 Jun 01 - 03:28 PM
Jenny S 22 Jun 01 - 01:32 PM
John J 22 Jun 01 - 04:19 AM
Bert 21 Jun 01 - 08:04 PM
John J at home 21 Jun 01 - 07:53 PM
Noreen 21 Jun 01 - 07:50 PM
Linda Kelly 21 Jun 01 - 01:39 PM
Clinton Hammond 21 Jun 01 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,SharonA 21 Jun 01 - 01:09 PM
Lonesome EJ 21 Jun 01 - 01:00 PM
John J 21 Jun 01 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,SharonA 21 Jun 01 - 12:15 PM
John J 21 Jun 01 - 11:55 AM
GUEST,SharonA 21 Jun 01 - 10:39 AM
John J 21 Jun 01 - 10:18 AM
Moss 21 Jun 01 - 08:57 AM
pavane 21 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM
pavane 21 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM
Noreen 21 Jun 01 - 08:42 AM
MudGuard 21 Jun 01 - 06:08 AM
Lyndi-loo 21 Jun 01 - 06:03 AM
John J at home 21 Jun 01 - 05:51 AM
Sarah the flute 21 Jun 01 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 21 Jun 01 - 02:27 AM
pavane 20 Jun 01 - 08:08 AM
John J at home 19 Jun 01 - 04:49 PM
lady penelope 19 Jun 01 - 03:49 PM
Peg 19 Jun 01 - 11:15 AM
John J 19 Jun 01 - 08:42 AM
Skipjack K8 19 Jun 01 - 07:12 AM
John J 19 Jun 01 - 06:35 AM
GUEST,Shantyman 19 Jun 01 - 05:46 AM
Fibula Mattock 19 Jun 01 - 05:16 AM
Lyndi-loo 19 Jun 01 - 04:01 AM
Lonesome EJ 19 Jun 01 - 02:17 AM
Peg 19 Jun 01 - 01:45 AM
Eric the Viking 18 Jun 01 - 06:58 PM
mousethief 18 Jun 01 - 06:54 PM
Eric the Viking 18 Jun 01 - 06:48 PM
mousethief 18 Jun 01 - 06:39 PM
Eric the Viking 18 Jun 01 - 06:35 PM
mousethief 18 Jun 01 - 06:24 PM
Eric the Viking 18 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM
Eric the Viking 18 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM
mousethief 18 Jun 01 - 06:06 PM
Mr Red 18 Jun 01 - 06:01 PM
nutty 18 Jun 01 - 05:24 PM
Hollowfox 18 Jun 01 - 04:35 PM
mousethief 18 Jun 01 - 04:24 PM
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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Noreen
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 06:47 AM

Sharon, I've just come across this old thread posted, which has links to a very short video clip of Chris Leslie dancing while fiddling at Adderbury- may give you some more idea.

Hey- want to see some morris dancing?

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 03:28 PM

Thanks for those sites, Noreen. I'll print 'em out and study up over the weekend.

Funny thing, though... I've never seen Morris dancers in Horsham (PA !!!)... :^)

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Jenny S
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 01:32 PM

Here in France the Summer Solstice is celebrated with "Fete de la Musique" - the French love ANY excuse for a day of partying - so we were playing dulcimers and harmonic flutes from 10am until midnight.

Now is the time for a week or more of "Feus de la St Jean" - St John Bonfires (ie. more excuse for more parties)... Help!

Other years we have celebrated atop Rough Tor and Helman Tor in Cornwall (You can see photos at http://pilgrim.ifrance.com ).

J


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: John J
Date: 22 Jun 01 - 04:19 AM

Hmmmm, Analog Devices. There's an electronic design company I deal with refuses to deal with them any more.

John


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Bert
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 08:04 PM

Ahhh! The Rollright stones. The first stone circle that I ever saw. I didn't know anything about stone circles but I was amazed. Now I know a bit more about them I'm still amazed, those people, all those thousands of years ago. The REAL people who built them to track the seasons. Scientists and engineers who were more clever than a lot of their ilk today.

Just take a modern scientist and take away his computer and calculator and say "Here's this pile of stones, go build a device that will predict astronimical events"

I'm still amazed, and I'm lifting a jar to those unknown folks all those years ago.

Bert.
P.S. Do you realize that if modern civilization collapses, all the digital computers will die and these analog devices will be all that we have left?


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: John J at home
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 07:53 PM

This really is a wonderful end to midsummer day.

Given that I had a rather early start today experiencing sunrise on Alderley Edge this morning, I had a kip in the armchair this evening. This made me rather later than usual for my trip to the folk club in Lymm.

I left home around 9.15pm on my bicycle to pedal the 6.5 miles through Altrincham and on to the Trans Pennine Trail, a resurfaced disused railway line that conveniently goes directly to the pub where the folk club is held.

The trail goes through farmland and has open views for some miles. As I pedalled along, singing the songs I intended to sing at the club, I watch the sun sink into the west. There were some clouds, enough to illuminate the sky, but not enough to grey the evening.

As the sun sank down, the sky and the clouds changed colour in sympathy, almost the complete opposite of what I had experienced around 4.45am. One significant difference was that while sunrise was a peaceful, almost silent affair, this event was still embroidered with the day's life. Within a few minutes, the sky changed from blue to gold, the to red as the sun's rays refracted through the atmosphere.

It really was perfect.

The folk club was as good as ever. Plenty of good singers and musicians, very good company, too much Timothy Taylor's Landlord bitter (I was on my bicycle), and, surprise, surprise, no bodhran.

I came out of the pub around 11.40pm and the horizon was still quite light even though the sun had long since vanished.

Such a shame there was nobody to share it with.

Ah well, a shower, a cup of Horlicks, lots of thoughts of loved ones, and then bed.

Good night.

JJ


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Noreen
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 07:50 PM

Sharon, have a look at these two sites, with pics. They'll give you some more idea about our native hanky-wavers... :0)

Cotswold Morris

Horsham day of dance

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 01:39 PM

JohnJ didn't know you could wax so lyrical. As a veteran insomniac I was awake as usual at 4.00 am, but i am afraid that with the dog snoring on one side and my husband on the other, it did'nt seem any different from any other moring. (The dog is not in the bed by the way, she sleeps alongside in her own bed!)


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 01:12 PM

Midsummer morn, anything happening???

well, the key word there being MORN, as little as possible!

:-)


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 01:09 PM

Sounds like a cross between Appalachian clogging and what the Mummers do in Philadelphia (PA) on New Year's Day. In the early days of the Mummers parade, blackface was used by the comic troupes; nowadays it's a no-no, as is the former "men-only" policy.

Thanks for the info; it does help (a little). Further elucidation would be appreciated, but it seems to be a touchy subject. I don't intend to be a troll, but I really know nothing about this tradition and am interested to learn if people can talk about it without flaming!

See, I thought Morris was that finicky cat in the 9-Lives cat-food commercial...

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 01:00 PM

Your colorful description of the Midsummer dawn gave me a a clear visual image, John. PLUS, I didn't have to get up before 8. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: John J
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:41 PM

Oh dear, I can see I'm going to end up in hot water here Sharon! Morris dancers are very individual in what morris means to them and can often be quite forcefull in promoting their beliefs / understandings and interests, so watch me inadvertantly tread on some toes.

A lot of morris dances have origins in ancient rites, including fertility, so many of the sides kits are very colourfull and are adorned with flowers.

These days the important thing is the 'rite' to drink a lot of good beer, sing, dance, and generally have fun. Morris dancing is taken very seriously by it's participants. Morris dancing is folk dancing popular in England and parts of Wales. The dancing has different meanings / origins in different areas. Here in the North West of England, much of the dancing is performed in clogs in a processional format. These dances are often quite regimented. In the Cotswolds, the dance side perform holding a waving hankerchieves or with sticks that are banged together. In the Welsh Borders, the dancers have blacked up faces for disguise, the dances are particularly wild and very powerfull.

The music that these sides dance to a generally dance specific, ie a dance called 'Shepherds Hey' has it's own tune, called Shepherd's Hey would you believe. The music is usually provided by a melodeon or accordion, but Brass Bands, Fiddles, Whistles etc are also not uncommon.

I hope that helps a little, and I haven't upset too many people. My apologies to those who I have upset...it wasn't intended!

John

(retired dancer, but drinker, singer and musician to excess!)


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 12:15 PM

Only if you now explain "Morris Dancers." When I said "ignorant", I meant it! (dunnowhattheheckthesepeoplearetalkingabout)

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: John J
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 11:55 AM

Hello Sharon,

A Morris Side is a term used to describe a 'team' or perhaps 'troupe' (I'll get hung drawn and quartered every day for a month for using those terms!) of Morris Dancers.

Does that help?

John


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:39 AM

Please explain "Morris sides" (from the original post by JohnJ) to the ignorant American. Thanks!

SharonA


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: John J
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 10:18 AM

Sounds lovely Anita, I wish I could be there to join in the music and singing with you all.

John


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Moss
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 08:57 AM

Hello folks, A beautiful sunrise in St. John's Newfoundland and there'll be bonfires on the beaches all around the coast every clear night until June 24th--St. John's Day, here. We'll have a long weekend--Monday off. Lots of songs and sessions in the pubs and out in people's summer cabins.

Anita


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: pavane
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 08:51 AM

Surely it IS also the Winter solstice, seen from the antipodes.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: pavane
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 08:50 AM

I accidentally set the alarm for 5:30 instead of 6:30, so I was NOT very popular this morning. But it was a lovely morning here in Wales. Unfortunately, the only badger I have seen in the last year was the dead one in the road yesterday. It's usually foxes we see.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Noreen
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 08:42 AM

Lovely description, John J, thank you. I watched the sun emerge from behind the Pennine Moors, and the colours were just as you describe, with the addition of a rim of silver along the horizon just before the sun broke through. Stunningly beautiful.

No badger this morning though, just the neighbour's cat who came for a cuddle while we watched the colours developing. (Not sure the cat was that impressed, though...)

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: MudGuard
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 06:08 AM

Erik, if solstice day is your birthday, then:

Happy birthday to you

(or is your birthday on the winter solstice?)

I celebrated summer solstice by not waking up before 9 o'clock which is very very unusual for me - normally I am in the office at around 7o'clock.

If I look at the weather forecast, I can't understand the discussion about midsummer day. It should be called midsummer hour - it was raining until two hours ago and I don't think the sunshine will hold for much longer than a few hours, there are lots of clouds to be seen already.

MudGuard


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Lyndi-loo
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 06:03 AM

You disciplined people. It was as much as I could do to crawl ou of bed at 7.00 am. But getting up earlier would have been to no avail anyway. It was solid cloud in Ayrshire at that time. Maybe next year.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: John J at home
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 05:51 AM

It's 10am as I write this.

At 4.15am this morning, my eldest son and I drove to Alderley Edge (of Wizard, and Brissingamen fame) for sunrise. We parked the car alongside a few others and walked through the almost silent woods to the Edge. Rabbits ran around through the woodland, and a few birds flew overhead.

We sat with our feet dangling over the Edge facing North East towards the hills of the Derbyshire Peak District. All the features of the foreground were perfectly visible in the subdued pre-sunrise light. There were a few clouds around, but not enough to spoil the morning; the all important horizon was perfectly clear. A few clouds well above the horizon were illuminated gently by the sun behind the hills.

The sun peeped over the horizon and everything changed. The very light mist that had previously been invisible and sat in the folds of the land before us, became illuminated, hiding some of the features, yet showing off others.

Very light shadows formed, silhouettes of trees, buildings (churches stood out well with their towers and spires), small hills. The sky changed from red to gold and back again, almost imperceptibly. The clouds almost became alive. Soon, as more of the sun rose beams of light around the shadows formed, exaggerating yet again the feature of the foreground. Later, as the golds and reds faded, the beams of light from the sun shone through the foreground towards us, adding yet another appearance to the countryside.

We weren't alone on the Edge, a group of four and a group of two people were near us. The couple, like us, sat silently watching the spectacle. The group of four performed some sort of ritual; the stood variously holding hands in a circle, then facing the sun with arms outstretched, then held each other closely in a huddle.

Soon after sunrise a group of four came to sit nearby. They may have seen the sunrise from somewhere else, but I rather think they missed it. There were others around on the Edge but we didn't see them. A horn was blown about five minutes after sunrise, somebody's whoops were heard through the woodland.

Once the sun was clear of the horizon, the features began to lose their magical appearance, and things returned to normal.

It was certainly a magical experience. My son was impressed by what he had seen, I was as glad about that as sceptical student I hadn't expected much but scorn for going tramping the countryside at that god-forsaken time of the morning…….'You're doing what? Why? You can see the sun ANY day' etc etc. But no, he enjoyed it.

I took loads of photographs, but I'm no photographer. When the photos are developed they'll mean nothing to anyone else, but lots to me.

We left for home after 40 minutes or so, and were soon climbing into our beds. Timothy could stay in bed all day if he wanted (he probably will), I had to be up for work around 8.00am.

It's a good job a friend phoned me at 9.20am and woke me up! There are many advantages to being self employed, flexible hours being one of them A major disadvantage is: no work = no wages. I'll have another coffee and then cycle off to work!

I can't wait until next year.

John (The bleary)


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 03:29 AM

Damn ! woke up too late missed the sunrise I'm gutted


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 02:27 AM

Exploring...new ways to burn,burn,burn,
Let them turn, turn, turn
Vixons, and wixons
We are true to the druons


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: pavane
Date: 20 Jun 01 - 08:08 AM

Don't know about Midsummer morning, but the Men of Sweyn's Ey usually dance around Arthur's Stone in Gower near sunset on the Thursday nearest to the solstice. No real reason except that it's there, I think. I haven't checked if they will be there this week.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: John J at home
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 04:49 PM

Why not go to the Jug for refreshment, relaxation, and the view of sunrise?

Good lucj with the Biology exam!

John


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: lady penelope
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 03:49 PM

I shall probably be up and worrying about my last biology exam. Much prayer will probably be heard from around dawn to about 12 midday. And then I still have to go to work! AAAAAAAAAArrrrrgggghhh!


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Peg
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 11:15 AM

Fibula; we went to Avebury for the day of solstice last year after staying up all night with the revellers at Stonehenge (cold, rainy, yucky). Later in the day after rain and clouds all day, the sun broke through and an enormous rainbow came out and arched over the entire village; we were at the Red Lion when it happened; every one stood around in wonder...

I have a photo of it if I knew how t post a photo image here...

Peg


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: John J
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 08:42 AM

Allan (Shantyman) would be upset if it rained; the bodhrans wouldn't burn too well! Which official midsummers morning date are you going up to the Edge Allan? Fancy a meet up? If so, give me an O.S. map ref & time.

John


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 07:12 AM

Fatal words, but the weather forecast for most of the stones looks favourable. We'll get a belt of rain tomorrow, followed by an anticyclone before the weekend.

Take your macs!

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: John J
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 06:35 AM

Bitch! ;-) LOL

JJ


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: GUEST,Shantyman
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 05:46 AM

It's all getting a bit technical for me. So I'll go to Alderly Edge and watch the Bhodran burning. Who knows we could then start on Melodeons?


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 05:16 AM

I'm going to Avebury for the solstice to watch the sun rise. I bet it rains.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Lyndi-loo
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 04:01 AM

June 24th is the 687th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn (says she apropos of nothing much)


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 02:17 AM

Eric said "One explanation for mid summers day being only 3 days after the solstice is that our summers are so bloody horrible that by a week later it's raining again and so summer happens within a week (joke)" An interesting aside is that Shakespeare's work was written and performed during a period that modern climatologists call "the Little Ice Age", a period characterized by exceptionally cold and wet summers. In this regard, Shakespeare's play is an explanation of the weather in that year of 1587, as well as an attempt to invoke a change in it. When Titania speaks the lines

The seasons alter : hoary headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose
And on old Hyem's chin and icy crown
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer budsIs, as in mockery, set : The spring, the summer
The chilling autumn, angry winter change
Their wonted liveries : and the 'mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which:
And this same progeny of evil comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original

Shakespeare is blaming the quarreling gods of nature for the late-blooming summer, and by depicting their reconciliation at the play's end, hopes in a rather pagan manner to invite the warmth of the season at last.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Peg
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 01:45 AM

(sigh) I was in England visiting sacred sites for solstice a year ago: Stonehenge, Avebury, the Rollrights, Glastonbury...spent twelve wonderful, magical days there.

If I had not had to move this month, I would be leaving to go there again right about now.

(sigh)


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:58 PM

Thanks, have a nice day.I'm really off now, well a cup of coffee and then to sleep.

my wife has left the TV on in the bedroom, so I'll turn it of and put cold feet on her back. g'nite


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:54 PM

Gnite!


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:48 PM

I know, but as I wasn't around then and neither were you-I suspect ! Us with only a short living memory will have to make do with what we've got. As you said Alex the solstice was the solstice, no matter who or what mucks about with our earthly temporal calender. The longest day will remain, like the shortest and the equinoxes, until our planet's orbit slows down a bit more or we increase our distance from the sun to amke an appreciable difference in our (human) measurement of time.

However, it's 23.047 over here and bedtime for me.

cheer


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:39 PM

Actually the actual solstice and the 21st got to be quite a distance apart due to the errors in the Julian calendar, which wasn't wholly done away with (as a civil calendar) until the Russian Revolution. By that time I believe it was 13 days out of synch.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:35 PM

Only funning, I believe Shakesperes Midsummer night's dream was written for and about 24th June and as a child I was always taught the difference between the two dates. In school we had a mid summers day celebration on 24th of June-that I think is still the tradditional day for mid summer. The distinction between that and the solstice is common confusion.Solstice day being my birthday, and the time I was born I was told by my mother when she was alive was 04.21. So sunrise solstice for me.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:24 PM

Thanks for the sarcasm, Eric. I meant the summer solstice has been called "midsummer's day" long before anyone said that summer BEGAN on that day.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM

Yes of course the day has always been there Alex and will be long after we depart. It's a bit like; "Columbus didn't find America, it wasn't lost, it was always there."

However the earliest men who had a degree of interlect other than eat, sleep and reproduce charted at least in their own minds, if not by some method of recording, the changes in seasons, day and night length.So these celebrations remain as part of a culture that existed for possibly hundreds of thousands of years, maybe longer.

Go for it lads and lasses, celebrate the solstice in your own way.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:20 PM

Yes of course the day has always been there Alex and will be long after we depart. It's a bit like; "Columbus didn't find America, it wasn't lost, it was always there."

However the earliest men who had a degree of interlect other than eat, sleep and reproduce charted at least in their own minds, if not by some method of recording, the changes in seasons, day and night length.So these celebrations remain as part of a culture that existed for possibly hundreds of thousands of years, maybe longer.

Go for it lads, celebrate the solstice in your own way.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:06 PM

March 25, not April.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Mr Red
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 06:01 PM

Midsummers Hill (Hill fort) in Malvern often has.
Rollright stones (Oxon/Warks border) usually chose the nearest Sat for bachanalia.
srf for Rollright AND stones.
to claim to be a true Englishman (as per legend) I tried to watch the dawn on midsummers day over the stones.
the sun, far from being red was overcast and it was damp and foggy. Ho Hum


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: nutty
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 05:24 PM

Surely the "longest day" which is around the end of June would be the natural "mid" point of the year in the "summer" season.

Until 1756 (or there-abouts) New Years Day was on April 25th, so actual "dates" don't mean a great deal.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: Hollowfox
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 04:35 PM

I'll be at Old Songs, myself.


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Subject: RE: Midsummer morn, anything happening?
From: mousethief
Date: 18 Jun 01 - 04:24 PM

It's halfway between beltane and samhain. Or something.


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