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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone, I'm Gina.
In the northern hemisphere, summer begins in June and this is also the case in the UK. Midsummer's Day follows the start of summer and is marked on the 24th of June.
In this lesson, you're going to learn about what Midsummer's Day means in the UK.
A play written by Shakespeare is based around the Midsummer time of year. Do you know what it is called?
We’ll show you the answer at the end of this video.
Back in the 13th century, Midsummer's Day was celebrated on the 23rd of June, which is known as St. John's Eve. It was followed by celebrations on the 25th of June, when bonfires, feasts and general merrymaking would be held. It was celebrated in this manner until the Reformation, when England broke away from the Catholic church, during the 16th century.
Lighting bonfires has become popular again in some parts of Cornwall and Scotland. The significance behind lighting bonfires is that they are in praise of the sun. The sun starts to become weaker and days become shorter following Midsummer's Day and bonfires are lit to support and bolster the sun.
These days, the main Midsummer's Day celebrations centre on Stonehenge. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, and during the Summer Solstice celebrations, the public are given additional access to the Stonehenge site so that the events can be celebrated. Thousands of people gather to watch the sunrise on the longest day.
An old Midsummer's superstition is that any rose picked on Midsummer's Eve will stay fresh until Christmas. Also, if young girls pick a rose and repeat a specific rhyme, it is said that their true love will visit them.
And now I'll give you the answer to the earlier quiz.
A play written by Shakespeare is based around the Midsummer time of year. Do you know what it is called?
It is A Midsummer Night's Dream and it is one of the most popular Shakespearian comedies and plays. The title of the play reflects the dream-like atmosphere of the play.
How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting?
Are there any events to mark Midsummer or the longest day in your culture?
Leave us a comment at EnglishClass101.com. And we'll see you in the next lesson!