Tell Me About "Midsummer's Eve"In "A Midsummer Night's Dream," what happens, according to legend, to people's emotions on Midsummer's Eve?  

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robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Midsummer's Eve is the "summer solstice", the longest day of the summer. It has been celebrated in the UK since the 13th century as a holiday, often involving maypole dancing, morris dancing, feasting, drinking, merrymaking and lighting bonfires.

Midsummer's Eve was believed to have been a time of magic, when all sorts of unusual things could happen. Lovers often leapt over the bonfire hand in hand, which was b elieved to bring them good luck - and those who desired a certain partner often performed love rites or special spells designed to bring them their desires.

One Elizabethan sources states that, if a maiden ate no food on Midsummer's Eve, and then set a table with a white tablecloth, placing on it bread, cheese and beer, the man she would (eventually) marry or his ghost would come and have supper with her.

It was, in Shakespeare's day, quite a crazy holiday!

surfpoetess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

hey thankyou how did you know that what is your source please ?

It is primarily a pagan/wiccan holiday. You might try Barbara Walker's "Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects." This is a great, well-researched source for pagan/wiccan history.

robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My own general knowledge, largely, I'm afraid - and reading up on the background to Shakespeare's play. The Arden 2nd edition of the "Dream" has some good stuff on the midsummer celebrations.

englishquestions | Student

hey thankyou how did you know that what is your source please ?

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

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