Presently June 2021
…. and it is the favourite month for weddings
Welcome to June’s e-column…
About the month of June
June means Summer is here! A time where things really begin to get into full swing with beautiful bouquets, delicious fruits and vegetables. Each day lasting a little bit longer and summer evenings become a treat to look forward to with the undeniable urge to get out there and enjoy the sunshine. This is not the case if you live in the southern hemisphere though. In the southern hemisphere, June is just about the time when winter starts to set in, the days are shorter and nights become cooler and fresher. Wherever you are in the world, June marks the first half of the year is here and the next six months to look forward to.
History of ‘June’
June is the sixth month in our modern day Gregorian Calendar and it was the sixth month in the Julian calendar as well. This was not always the case. June was the fourth month of the year in the earlier Roman calendar and the year was made of 10 months – all these before Julius Caesar came to power. Then, around 46 BC, the Julian Calendar was born when two months were added to the year, making it 12 months in length and June became the sixth month with 30 days.
Origins of ‘June’
There are a couple of theories on how the name ‘June’ came about. One theory rests upon the Latin word, ‘juvenis’ meaning ‘young people’ who were celebrated during this month. Another theory, and I am much inclined to accept this one is that the month was named after the Roman goddess of marriage and well-being of women, Juno.
The Anglo-Saxons called the month of June, sera monath, meaning “dry month.”
Why is the month of June popular for weddings?
Traditionally, June was the month to marry.
It was the belief that goddess Juno, for whom the month of June is named was the protector of women in all aspects of life, especially so in marriage and in childbearing. Therefore, a wedding in June was considered most auspicious.
June weddings also comes from the Celtic calendar. On the Cross-Quarter Day of Beltane, (May Day, May 1), young couples were paired off for three months. If their courtship lasted the duration, they would wed on the next Cross-Quarter Day (Lammas Day, August 1). However, the waiting period was shortened and the couples would wed in June, thereby bringing about the popularity of June weddings.
Aside from traditions, June makes a perfect month to marry because the weather is better, more predictable (less rain) and makes it easier for guests to travel to get to the wedding venue.
June’s birthstone is generally considered to be the Pearl, along with Alexandrite and Moonstone. Pearl is by far the most popular of the three. With their natural beauty, pearls have been beloved for centuries.
Pearls are associated with purity, honesty and calmness. It is said that if you dream of a pearl ring, then expect romance to come your way. The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the tears of joy from the goddess of love, Aphrodite. The ancient Egyptians associated pearls with Isis, the goddess of healing and life.
This natural gem with exquisite white lustre, has a demure glow, and create a look that’s simple, elegant and appropriate for any occasion.
Alexandrite – an extremely rare gem that changes colour. In the daylight, it is blueish green and becomes purplish red in incandescent light.
Moonstone – a gem that shimmers like moonlight. The clearer the gem, and bluer the sheen, the more valuable it is.
June’s birth-flowers are the rose and honeysuckle – both associated with all things love, desire, generosity and affection.
Rose – has inspired many poets and painters for centuries and has more symbolic meanings than one can imagine! A pink rose is said to mean ‘happiness’, a red rose means ‘I love you’ while a white rose represents ‘innocence, purity and new beginnings’
Honeysuckle strongly means ‘everlasting bonds of love’
June – Folklore, Festivals, Superstitions & Traditions
Summer solstice – the longest daylight hours of the year is June 21 or it could be June 22 on a leap year. It is the day when the sun is at the most northerly point which creates “the longest day” of the year.
Summer solstice is celebrated at Stonehenge, Wiltshire to a great extend. Thousands gather to watch the sunrise on this special day of the year with cheering and revelling. Stonehenge is a sacred place for the Druid and pagan community who perform rituals, invoking a great sense of awe and humility.
Read > Stonehenge – A Sophisticated Architecture. Learn more about summer solstice celebrations along with the possible theories surrounding the construction of these huge stones which have stood there for thousands of years and no one knows how it got there!
Midsummer’s day comes after the summer solstice, the longest day in the northern hemisphere and the shortest day in the southern hemisphere. which is the middle of summer – on June 24. It is a day associated with witches, magic, fairies and dancing.
Traditionally, on the eve of Midsummer’s day, many bonfires were lit all around the country. This was done in praise of the sun, as the days were getting shorter and the sun appeared weaker. So, bonfires were lit to energise the sun.
Superstitions associated with Midsummer’s Day
As we know, roses are special in June. Roses were even more special on the eve of Midsummer’s Day. Superstition has it that any rose picked on the eve of Midsummer’s Day will keep fresh until Christmas. It has also been said at midnight on Midsummer’s Eve, girls should scatter rose petals before them and, the next day their true love will visit them.
There are ceremonies called ‘Well Dressing’ that takes place at various times during June as well as throughout summer. Wells of fresh water and springs that come from underground streams have always been considered special, so some wells are decorated with greenery and beautiful pictures of flowers and moss.
Some Well Dressing events for 2021 are cancelled but you could look up locations via Derbyshire Well Dressing link for a future visit.
Weather-lore and sayings
‘A calm June puts the farmer in tune’
‘June damp and warm, does the farmer no harm’
Recap of what has been happening since May e-column
The month of May flew by very quickly – with more walks in the local country parks, trips local and away, and birthdays to celebrate, along with more writing on the city of canals. Here are all the articles written and published in the month of May and up to the latest in June:
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On a final note…
The month of June is an interesting one and certainly made me smile when I stumbled upon the lore on the rose petals in my research. I must admit, I did not know very much about the Well Dressing festival or how widely it is celebrated still in modern day , so I hope to make it to one of the festivals next year. As well, what a beautiful portrayal of the priceless jewel, pearls – a natural gem every girl should be bestowed with along with roses of all colours 🙂
I am hopeful that the month of June henceforth will bring good days of warmer sunshine and will make exploring UK possible. I have a few trips planned this summer, bbq Sundays with family & friends and I look forward to some relaxing ‘me’ time.
Whatever you get up to, have a splendid rest of the month of June.
Till next time,