hollykingby Merlyn

The sun rises straight above the eastern horizon in early June, not in the southeast as it does in other seasons, and by 6 a.m. it can warm you to your bones. It's almost Litha, the Summer Solstice, and time for the return of the Holly King, who will preside over the waning half of the solar year after vanquishing the Oak King whose rule began at Yule.

Many ancient cultures equated the annual solar cycle with the birth, growth, and death of a god who was annually replaced.

Read more: Wheel of the Year: Midsummer, Litha

220px-Sumer is icumen in - Summer Canon Reading Rota mid 13th C f.11v - BL Harley MS 978by Dru

Summer is icumen in! Beltane, celebrated at the beginning of May, heralds the arrival of longer days, warmer nights, and growth, growth, growth. Beltane is one of the oldest recorded Gaelic seasonal festivals. Records show that it has been celebrated for centuries at the beginning of summer with balefires, maypoles, town fairs, games, and feasting. As we sang in the mid-13th century:

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing, cuccu;
Groweth sed
and bloweth med,
And springth the wode nu;
Sing, cuccu!

(Spring has arrived,
Loudly sing, cuckoo!
The seed is growing
And the meadow is blooming,
And the wood is coming into leaf now,
Sing, cuckoo!)

Read more: Wheel of the Year: Beltane

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