Autumn! She’s here! Alban Elfed, meaning ‘The Light of the Water’ marks the balance of day and night before we enter the ‘dark’ half of the year. It is a time of harvesting the crops we have spent the light half of the year tending. This final harvest and the spirit of thanksgiving is the central theme of the Alban Elfed ceremony - thanking the Earth, in her full abundance as Mother and Giver, for the great harvest, as Autumn begins.
This year, I plan on having a similar celebration as I did last year (see previous post!). Starting with a deep cleaning of the house, followed by some herb gathering & farmers market shopping, hosting a feast, and libating some trees! Since i’m more educated on druidry - i’d like to incorporate more spiritual and introspective reflection. I’ll also be posting my menu tomorrow! So much to do!
Alban Elfed is especially important to me as it was the first festival I celebrated as a Druid. I was still very new to the whole concept and stumbled my way through the celebration. Last year, I went on a hike through a local nature reserve to a locally renowned destination; a large tree covered in spanish moss and surrounded by wildflowers and shrubbery. The locals call it “The Fairy Tree”. I made the trek out to the tree, gathered flowers and herbs along the way, and offered a small bottle of mead to the earth, as I had read about the tradition of offering trees libations. That evening I cooked a feast made from seasonal fruits, vegetable, and grains that I had gathered and purchased from local farmer markets. All in all, I was very happy with my celebration! (Photos above!)
It’s all coming together, grandness is imminent. I am positively giddy!
A collection of my Midsummer celebrations. Some baking, herb gathering & drying, and of course a bonfire. T’was a lovely holiday & a great beginning to this summer!
Voila! My Midsummer floral crown. A bit more modest than last years, but I think these sunny little blooms are so sweet. Also, yay for being more tan & having long hair!
Making floral crowns for Midsummer today! This is a the one I made last year. Easily one of my favorite pastimes. Thinking about making these part of the shops grand opening! If anyone is interested let me know.
This year, i’m having a backyard bonfire to celebrate the summer solstice. I plan on hanging floral garland around the yard, building a bonfire, and whipping up a delicious spread featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables & traditional Midsummer recipes with a modern twist. Message me for the full recipes, if you’re interested.
- Citrus Chicken Salad served in Day Lily Blooms
- Cucumber & Rosemary Finger Sandwiches
- Solstice Herb Bread with Garlic Butter
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Honey Ginger Vinaigrette
- Herb Roasted Chicken with Spiced Orange Glaze
- Honey Cakes
- Midsummer Strawberry Macron Cake
Also, there will be Honey Mead, fruity ales, and some sweet chilled Savuignon Blanc & Pinot Grigios. Can’t forget about the libations! I’ll post pictures of the delicious spread!
Getting a head start on my Midsummer celebrations! Midsummer has several names depending on where you fall on the Pagan scale. Wicca celebrated Litha, Christians refer to is as the Summer Solstice, and so on. Personally, i’m honoring Alban Hefin, the Druid celebration of the Summer Solstice.
Alban Hefin, or “Light of the Summer” is celebrated on the Summer Solstice to commemorate the Solar God is crowned by the Goddess as the King of Summer & we enter the waning year. It’s also the birth of the Holly King (or Dark Twin) who will take his crown at Alban Arthan, the Winter Solstice.
This year, i’m throwing a Summer Solstice party! I’m working on the menu now & making a list before I goto the Farmer’s Market this weekend. I’ve also found some festive crafts & projects that I plan on doing with some friends.