Midsummer is the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, and more specifically the northern European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice or take place on a day between June 19 and June 25 and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary among different cultures. The celebration predates Christianity, and existed under different names and traditions around the world.
In Sweden, the Midsummer is such an important festivity that there have been proposals to make the Midsummer’s Eve into the National Day of Sweden, instead of June 6. In Latvia, Midsummer’s Jāņi festival is a public holiday. In Denmark and Norway, it may also be referred to as St. Hans Day.
Many towns and cities have ‘Midsummer Carnivals’ with fairs, concerts and fireworks either on or on the weekend nearest to Midsummer. In rural spots throughout the west, northwest, southwest and Co. Cork, bonfires are lit on hilltops on St John’s Eve. This tradition harks back to pagan times.
While the longest day of the year in Ireland falls on June 21, Midsummer is the 24th.