Happy Midsummer’s Day from San Diego Beer and Wine Tours!
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”
–Oberon, A Midsummer Night's Dream
Happy Midsummer! This is the shortest night and the longest day in the northern hemisphere. While it's not cooling down any time soon, this is the end of the lengthening days, and it is a slow march to winter from here on out.
Astronomically speaking, this is the beginning of summer and precursor to the hot Dog Days. In many European traditions, this is the night to burn bonfires and pluck golden flowers to keep evil spirits from your doorstep for the rest of the year. It is also traditionally thought to be the night of the year that magic is strongest, so watch out! After all, look what happened to poor Bottom in Shakespeare's play.
Southern California has a mild semi-arid climate, so while things do get hot around here, it's not as much of a shock to the system as it might be in other places. That's not to say we can't use a little refreshment! That's what this time of year is traditionally all about. In fact, there's a famous British (and slightly gruesome) folk song about to scything down barley on Midsummer's Day to make it into beer:
They’ve let him stand ’till midsummer’s day,
Till he looked both pale and wan.
And little Sir John’s grown a long, long beard,
And so become a man.
They’ve hired men with scythes so sharp,
To cut him off at the knee.
They’ve rolled him and tied him by the waist,
Serving him most barb’rously.
The greatest Midsummer traditions involves feasting and drink, and those are our favorites. We look forward to partaking in them with you!
Brooke B., Midsummer's Maiden