Midsummer: Sunrise 5am and Sunset 10pm
Hard to believe that Midsummer and the longest day of the year is this week. The Summer Solstice, which is celebrated far and wide, is now upon us. I refuse to mention our summer weather as it might just make readers a bit dispirited; particularly when compared with the incredible weather of last year. Remembered fondly the summer of 2018 will long remain in the annals of being one of the best summers ever.
In historical terms midsummer usually falls on the 24th June with some countries actually celebrating any time from the 19th to the 24thJune as it is a movable date. In Ireland we fixed upon a regular date – that of the 21st June.
Out of curiosity I decided to check out what is actually happening around Ireland this midsummer. For those seeking a spiritual experience there is a walking tour on the Hill of Tara in Co. Meath on Friday, 21st June. Slightly further in the heart of Ireland there is another spiritual tour at the Hill of Uisneach, Co. Westmeath, on Saturday, 22nd June.
The longest day of the year can and should be celebrated in whatever form ticks your boxes. I know for a fact that there are a group of golfers who head out at dawn to play a round of golf. Not sure that particular activity would suit me with such an early start.
For those in search of more light-hearted entertainment the Dublin Pride Festival takes place from 20th to 30th June. This festival is hugely popular, great fun, very colourful and with a wonderful laid back and inclusive atmosphere. For family fun with live music there is the Nenagh Castlefest in Co. Tipperary which takes place from the 21st to 23rd June.
The gig of the year for those with soul is the Body & Soul Festival in Ballinlough Co. Westmeath where you can, to quote their blurb, ‘enter a parallel of spellbinding music and performance, Immersive art Installations, mind-expanding workshops…..’ This all takes place from 21st – 23rd June so here’s hoping that the sun comes out or those selling welly boots will make a killing! A more sedate music event, The Cork Proms, would be a terrific alternative for those who don’t fancy camping during a typical Irish summer (that’s this year in case you hadn’t noticed). The Cork Festival takes place from 21st – 23rd June. Finally and by no means last there is the George Ezra concert in Cork on Thursday, 20th June. By my reckoning he is one of the best male solo voices to tour in Ireland this year.
Of course it goes without saying that this midsummer you could just chill out at a nice Country House Hotel and enjoy an Irish sunrise or sunset, or both. There are plenty of places where you can enjoy our Summer Solstice such as Parknasilla Resort in Co. Kerry; Gregans Castle in Co. Clare or Longueville House in Co. Cork. Sunrise this time of year is at 5am and sunset is at 10pm so make the most of it.
‘Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind’
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare