A Midsummer Menu
The day of everlasting light; of course it is a day to frolic through fields of flowers, weave flower crowns, and celebrate light. Midsummer has been celebrated in many ways for thousands of years as the longest day of the year. The further north you live, the longer the light lasts. Its a holiday that we love to celebrate and so we have created a collection of items and activities to help make your Midsummer's Eve magical.
My childhood fascination with fairies has continued with me and its something I love to share with others. Each year I have a Midsummer gathering for my nieces, cousins, and friends. Over the years, I have a created a list of things that we love to do every year and then a variety of other activities that we have tried here and there. Perhaps as you plan your own Midsummer festivities, some of these ideas might work for you.
Flower crowns are definitely necessary, but they can be as easy or as complicated as you like. We have tried a bit of everything over the years: wire with flowers and floral tape, willow branches, fake flower garlands, elastic headbands, and even plastic headbands with super glue. So whether you choose real flowers or fake flowers there are lots of possibilities. Make sure you take a basket with you to gather flowers!
Building a fairy house is the next most important thing that we do every year. It requires a bit of foraging to find the right shaped leaves and branches, but making fairy furniture keeps everyone entertained and eager to watch for the signs of supernatural visitors.
White nightgowns are the newest staple of our gatherings. They are beautiful and comfortable. A white cotton nightie is the just the right thing to wear while frolicking and dancing into late hours longest day of the year. We have some fun cotton nightgowns for women and children.
Reading aloud is the other thing that always do. Sometimes we read a traditional fairy tale from H.C. Andersen or the Brothers Grimm. Last year, each of my nieces picked and read their favorite flower fairy poem from one of Cecily Mary Barker’s books and that was my favorite read aloud yet.
Some of the other activities we have done sporadically throughout the years are below.
Maypole: while it usually ends in a tangled disaster, we love to do it. Ours is made from a small felled tree and grosgrain ribbons.
Outdoor Movie: One of the most magical movies is Fairy Tale: A True Story
Fairy tracing: Several times over the years, midsummer has crept in cold and rainy and we need to make some adjustments. Window tracing flower fairy portraits makes for lots of fun. All you need is a Cecily Mary Barker book and a bit of paper.
Scavenger hunt: foraging is a part of the experience and so is treasure hunting. So many variations of this but this year we are planning to do a mushroom scavenger hunt with these lovely forest mushroom baskets.
Wildflower bouquets to put under your pillow: one of the ancient midsummer legends is that if you gather a bouquet of seven different wildflower and tuck them under your pillow on Midsummers eve, you will dream of your true love.
Bonfires: in England, the bonfire were kept burning through the night to keep evil spirits at bay. Sometimes a fire adds just a bit of mischief to the evening.
Palm reading: Now while I might not be perfect at the art of palm reading, a quick internet search will give you enough knowledge of the mystic art to make you laugh and dream.
Dancing: many believed that dancing would make the fairies come out to play. So put on some Celtic music and dance around the yard to invite the fairies to your party.
No party is complete without food and it all needs to be fairy food. Below is list of our favorites and checkout these serving dishes
Twigs and branches (pretzel sticks)
Anything on a toothpick (meats and cheeses, fruits, vegetables)
If your dancing fairies need a more substantial offering we like:
Grilled asparagus with parmesan cheese
Roasted squash drizzled with fresh cream and pumpkin seeds
Zuchinni noodles with pesto and lemon
Fresh pea soup
A cheese pizza topped with with arugula, fresh herbs, edible flowers and mushrooms (We like a homemade or a take-and-bake pizza so we can add our special fairy toppings after its cooked)