Celebrate Summer Solstice across Europe: fairies, magic and bonfires

Celebrate Summer Solstice across Europe: fairies, magic and bonfires
The summer solstice, known also as midsummer, will be celebrated on 20 June.  It marks both the longest day and the shortest night of the year and is technically the official start of summer. It’s also one of Europe’s most celebrated and magical evenings, associated with St. John the Baptist but also with Pagan rituals.
We are blessed at this time with early dawns, long days, late sunsets…But how different cultures celebrate this beautiful moment? Magic Roots made a little tour of Europe to see what are the beautiful traditions related to this important moment.

Fertility rituals, bonfires, flowers, fairies, unicorns, and boat races… these are just a few examples of symbols used in these times across the world. Isn’t this just magical?!

Belgium: Le Grand feu de Bouge, Namur

A tradition held all across Wallonia actually, the great fire is lit on the summer solstice. A custom that has barely changed over the years. Anything and everything that burns gets collected from the houses, thrown together on a hill in Bouge overlooking the city. The fire gets started when Bonhomme Hiver arrives, accompanied by a brass band, and carried by a group of men dressed in red masks. Once lit, six similar flames go up on the six adjoining hills. It’s even said that those who witnessed the Grand Feu de Bouge are protected against dark magic and bad luck year-round.

France: finding a love match in midsummer

Traditions for Fete de la St-Jean (24 June) and the summer solstice bond and are celebrated by French across the country. French are keen on these celebrations and festivities in every region have their own particularities. One of the most traditional rites is for young unmarried people to jump over the bonfire if they wanted to find their soul mate before the end of the year!

Germany: Sommersonnenwende

In Germany too, huge fires are lit on St. John’s Eve, around which people dance. The custom goes right back to the 12th century. According to popular belief, it frightens off the evil spirits that cause illness and harm livestock and averts storms.

Romania: opening the skies for Sanziene

In Romania, it is believed the skies are opening and Sanzienele (beautiful, magical creatures) float in the air or walk on earth, singing and dancing, sharing fruit to the cornfields; bringing married women fertility, breeding animals and birds, cure the sick and protect crops from hail.

UK: pagan rituals at Stonehenge

Every year, on the summer solstice, thousands of people travel to Stonehenge—a mysterious prehistoric monument. Given the UK’s pagan past, festivities focused on fairies, unicorns, and other suitably mystical creatures. This year, the UNESCO site decided to live stream the midsummer night via Facebook, as visitors are not yet welcome due to coronavirus measures still in place.

Spain: Las Hogueras de San Juan

Las Hogueras de San Juan is one of the country’s most popular festivals, kept in Alicante. Usually 6 days in June, people reunite and rejoice in celebrating summer with different types of customs, including loud fireworks, parades, and bonfires. Read more on the festival.

Portugal : Festa de Santos Populares

In Porto but also in other regions across the country, the night of 23/24 June when St. John is celebrated has a special meaning. Enormously vivid celebrations, during which the people take to the streets eating, drinking, and having fun in the old neighborhoods, that are bedecked with arches, colourful balloons, and the aroma of sweet basil.

Sweden: strawberries & girls’ dreaming to get married

In Sweden, people traditionally celebrated the beginning of summer by eating the first strawberries of the season. Traditional foods such as pickled herring, salmon, and potatoes are enjoyed by flower-wreath-wearing revelers and maypole. Folk dances – such as the Små grodorna – take center stage. It’s even said that if unmarried girls place seven flowers under their pillow on midsummer, they’ll dream of their future husband.

Latvia: plants are sprinkled with magic

In Latvia, wildflowers picked on the summer solstice are believed to have healing powers. In honor of Jāņi, homes are decorated with birch, oak and rowan branches, ferns, oxeye daisies, and bents. Nettles and thistles can be attached to the door-frame to keep evil spirits out. Women weave wildflower wreaths to decorate themselves.

Celebrate with us!

The essence of Magic Roots concept is that we respect and celebrate traditions and cultures. We believe traditional artisans connected to nature and its secrets create products that bring magic to our lives. Our mission is to support these people and to promote their culture.

We made for you a selection of products that include the magic of summer solstice.

MAGICAL TEAS WITH CURING PROPERTIES You have a wide selection of teas with magical curing properties. The teas from our store are produced by Alessia Plant, a small teas artisan from Oradea area, Romania. The Ilas family has a tradition of several generations in collecting and processing medicinal plants, but also in the art of combining plants, in order to achieve remedies with magical healing properties. The plants used in Alessia Plant teas and tinctures are hand-picked by the Ilas family directly from the secret forests of Apuseni Mountains, forests known for their high energetic value.

MOUNTAIN FLOWERS HONEY (HAYSTACK HONEY) Mountain poly-flower honey is considered the most complex type of honey as therapeutic action. It encompasses the nectar of several tens and hundreds of medicinal plants and borrows some of the therapeutic properties of each of them. Haystack poly-flower honey has an energizing, tonic effect. It is also recommended in heart disease, insomnia, cramps, constipation, fever.

RAPESEED HONEYis a basic ingredient in cosmetic masks. Thanks to its rich content in vitamin E, it fights effectively against skin aging, maintaining its tonicity and elasticity. It is also an effective remedy for kidney, stomach, heart, respiratory, and osteoporosis. It can also be used prophylactically, preventing liver, pancreatic and splenic diseases. Moreover, thanks to its antibacterial properties, this honey destroys bacterias 


iLAVENDER FLOWER WATERs a by-product, 100% natural, resulting from the distillation process of lavender flowers. It is a hydrolate with regenerating effect, soothing and tonic for skin, skin, eye contour, with very good results for sensitive skin. Reduces mental stress when applied to the eye contour by rapid absorption into the capillaries. And can be used as a home air freshener too...

LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OILhas a calming, relaxing effect, helps relieve headaches, fights depression, stress and nervous tension regulate blood pressure; Relaxes muscle tension, relieves joint and muscle pain, and gives relaxation and flexibility to people experiencing back neck or rheumatism; it is also a great insect repellent.


LAVENDER SOAP, CHAMOMILE, AND PATCHOULIIt is recommended to use this soap in the evening bath because chamomile lavender and patchouli induce relaxation, induce calm, and drowsiness, all three belonging to the category of oils that treat insomnia, anxiety or mild depression. Patchouli helps remove pigment spots on the skin, remove acne or rashes, and the antibacterial property, like lavender, helps prevent acne. It moisturizes and removes the appearance of dry, dehydrated skin (has a repairing effect on skin lesions).

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