Midsummer's Eve

Midsummer's Eve Many people are curious as to why an online dating site should be called "Midsummer's Eve. Where did we get our name from? We put this article together to celebrate the most romantic day of the year, and to shed some light on this intruiging question.

When is Midsummer's Eve?

Astronomically speaking, Midsummer's Eve falls on the day before the longest day of the year  - which is known as the summer solstice. The longest day is usually June 21st, making Midsummer's Eve June 20th (this can vary by a day some years).

However, the exact date of the celebration of Midsummer's Eve varies and different cultures mark the festival on different calendar days, most commonly June 23rd with Midsummer's Day falling on June 24th. In Christianity June 24th is marked as the feast of St John the Baptist.

Midsummer celebrations date back way before Christianity, and provide a counterbalance to midwinter festivals which have morphed into Christmas in most European cultures. The shortest day (Winter Solstice) is December 20th most years.

We have always stuck to June 20th as the date for Midsummer's Eve as this is the day prior to the solstice.

Most romantic day of the yearThe Love Potion

All over the world, but especially in Europe, Midsummer's Eve is historically renowned as the day on which romantic souls can divine their future loves. Midsummer's Eve is the time most full of romantic possibilities, so it is the perfect name for our dating site.

By the way, it is also the very best day to see fairies, so it's said, which is why many people, including Shakespeare himself, associate fairies with Midsummer.

Love potions and spells

In folklore, Midsummer's Eve is a great time to make a love potion because the herbs and plants involved are at their peak in terms of magical energy on this day. Here are some ideas for encouraging romance:

Girls: place sedum stalks on your bedroom window sill at night on Midsummer's Eve. The way they face in the morning will tell you the direction your future lover will come from.

Shakespeare: Oberon, King of the Fairies, gives the recipe for the love potion which when dropped onto the eyelids of a sleeping person will make them fall in love with the next living creature they see. Which of course leads to all sorts of unexpected consequences:

Oberon, King of the Fairies"Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound,
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I shew'd thee once:
The juice of it on sleeping eye-lids laid
Will make or man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees."

By the way, this potion has actually been tested. Dr Charles Sell, a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, constructed the potion. Love-in-idleness turned out to be Viola Tricolor, commonly known as Heart's Ease. Sadly, he did not find any amorous properties though the potion made a lovely perfume. Dr Sell said: "Of course, nobody should put a fragrance on eyelids and we would stress the hazards of doing that. However, it will be interesting to see what kind of effect the perfume might have when applied to the nape of the neck or décolleté."

A Cornish tradition holds: "if a woman, blind-folded, plucks a full-blown rose, on Midsummer day, while the chimes are playing twelve, folds the rose up in a sheet of white paper and does not take out the rose until Christmas day, it will be found fresh as when gathered. Then, if she places the rose on her bosom, the young man to whom she is to be married will come and snatch it away."

In Herefordshire, maidens can pluck St John's Wort on Midsummer Eve and judge their matrimonial chances by seeing if the plant is still fresh in the morning.

In Somerset, during the night of Midsummer Eve, a girl must go to the church-yard and wait for the stroke of twelve. She must have rose leaves, and a herb such as rosemary in her hand. At the first stroke of midnight, she must start to run round the church, scattering the leaves and singing softly:

"Rose leaves, rose leaves,
Rose leaves I strew,
He that will love me,
Come after me now".

And there are many other love divinations and spells that are said to work most potently on Midsummer's Eve. That's why it is the most romantic night of the year. And that's why the most romantic site on the Internet is called - Midsummer's Eve.

Good luck!