Some more about old midsummer traditions.
Midsummers night was filled with magic and there were lots of ways to see the future if one wanted. Girls for instance could see their future husbands in their dreams if they picked seven or nine, depending on where they lived, wildflowers and put them beneath their pillow during that night. But it wasn’t just to pick them, it had to be done the right way. They should climb over seven (or nine depending on how many flowers they should pick) fences and weren’t allowed to speak during that time. When they were finished they had to go to bed so they could dream to whom they were going to be married, still no speaking allowed.
In their dream they should carefully look what their future husband would offer them to drink. If it was water their life would be a poor one, beer an average one but if they were offered wine or even better champagne they would have a life in great wealth. If they could hear music in the background they were going to get a happy life but if it was quiet their life were going to be dull. Men could see how the crops would turn out by going, quiet of course, to their firlds before midnight. They should sit down by the fence and listen carefully. If they could hear scythes swiftly moving they would get great crops but if they could hear how the scythes hit stones it would be the other way.
If someone would like to have the best teacher to learn how to play the violin they could ask the Water sprite, Näcken as we call him. There was only one big problem, the Water sprite had a tendency to drown everyone he taught 🙂 So if he agreed to to that and said that the apprentice should jump up on his shoulders to hear the sound from the violin as good as possible and then told him to tie himself to the water spirit so he shouldn’t fall in to the water and drown, he really shouldn’t. Because that meant that he was going to be dragged down into the water and be drowned by the water sprite 🙂
It could show useful to pick flowers this day and night even if one didn’t want to see the future spouse , since the flowers were picked on a specially magic night, this magic would stay in the flowers even if one dried them. So many men and women were out picking lots of flowers and herbs this night. They then dried them just as they were or made wreaths of them and placed them safe until they were needed. If someone got sick during the winter they just brought these flowers and put them on fire, the sick person then had to walk around in the smoke and they would be healthy already the next day.
The morning dew was also very powerful this night. So if You wanted a big crop and wanted your neighbor to fail You simply took some sheets and dragged them on the neighbors fields. All the dew that was collected in the sheets was then supposed to be twisted out of the sheets in to ones own field. That year You would get a fantastic crop while the neighbor would fail. Life wasn’t especially easy back then to be honest. I told You yesterday that the Midsummer pole came to us around 1200, I have read several other dates after that so it isn’t sure at all that it came so early to us. But I know that before it arrived they used to dance around big bonfires instead. Not too wise during hot summers I guess 🙂
There’s lots more to tell You about our old folk lore and perhaps I’ll continue tomorrow, but now I’ll take a nap. Some animal fought for its life last night around 12. It sounded like a fox and the only thing attacking foxes are either bigger foxes or lynx’s. I like foxes so I made a lot of noise through the window and I guess what ever it was left the fox alone. But of course, this was a magic night so perhaps I interrupted two trolls 🙂
Have a great day!