Litha

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A Swedish village gathers for the traditional Små Grodorna Frog Dance held around the Midsummer pole
An early 20th century postcard called "Summer Luck" ("Sommerglück") by F. Schlegel depicts happy central European peasants walking in the flowering fields; the woman is happily displaying her slightly pregnant belly as the man adores her

Litha, also known as Midsummer, Samradh, Alban Hefin, Aerra Litha, and Gŵyl Ganol yr Haf is a seasonal Pagan and Neo-Pagan festival which is celebrated as one of the eight holidays on The Wheel of the Year.

In the Northern Hemisphere it is held on June 19 - June 23 (during the Summer Solstice) when the Sun is at 0° Cancer.

In the Southern Hemisphere it is held on December 19 - December 23 (during the Summer Solstice) when the Sun is at 0° Capricorn.

Germanic Pagan and Neo-Pagan traditions include Midsummer bonfires that celebrate the power of the Sun on the longest day of the year, when the sun has reached its peak and the God has reached his full strength.

For people in the extreme Northern latitudes of Scandinavia, Midsummer is marked by nearly endless hours of daylight, in contrast to the dreary darkness of Midwinter. The Swedes have long had traditions of drinking from holy wells, washing by holy wells, and dancing around holy wells In Sweden the European May pole ha been displaced in the calendar to become the Midsommerstang or Midsummer Pole. Decorated with greenery, particularly birch leaves, the Midsommarstang is often crafted to resemble a stylized penis and testicles. Musicians play traditional songs, alcoholic beverages are consumed, and ring dances, such as the Små Grodorna (Small Frog) dance, are held around the pole, even by ostensibly secular Swedes.

In some Neo-Pagan traditions, Litha is seen as the moment of transition between the half-yearly rule of the Oak King, who governs between Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice, and the Holly King, whose dominion extends from from Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice. While some view this as a battle between the Oak King and the Holly King, for others, both the Oak King and the Holly king are subsumed in the figure of The Green Man.

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