Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Midsummer Night's Eve

"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended:
That you have but slumbered here,
While we visions did appear..."

From A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

This evening we celebrated Midsummer's Eve at Hummingbird Home---our first Midsummer's Eve celebration and the start of a new set of traditions for us.

Why celebrate Midsummer's Eve?

1. Midsummer's Eve occurs in June, and I want my daughter's middle name to connote festivity and family. We have so many June celebrations: Nana's birthday (the person and origin of Kate's middle name), Bill's birthday, Father's Day, my parent's wedding anniversary... I want June to be full of celebration and joy for Kate. Why not make the month extra magical?

2. A reason to put on faerie wings, plan a holiday around desserts, have a bonfire...what more reason do we need really?

3. This holiday will be a good entry point later for Katie's study of Shakespeare.

4. Why not choose to make one day more extra special? It only takes a little something out of the ordinary to make magic... I can't relate to the gloomy and negative people who always seem to have a complaint about life or who start dramas with people because they have nothing better to do. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all focused on making joy and wonder out of our days instead?

5. The more I can fill Katie's heart and mind with awe and splendor and sparkle and imagination, the more she will have a bottomless reserve of happiness to bouy her through life's harder times. I want her to feel life the way I do: limitless, boundless goodness and adventure, never boring, full of ideas and dreams and possibilities...

We started by making the fairy cakes:

Katie always is so helpful in our kitchen. Here, she measures and pours the sugar into the genoise batter.

She measures out another tablespoon of sugar...

She arranges the fairy cake holders in the mini pans. Fairy cakes, you see, must be small enough for the faeries to eat tonight...

We dressed up as faeries after naptime. I really and truly bought the faerie wings for Katie, but as she didn't want to put them on, I ended up wearing them as part of my costume.

My Fairy Princess, with her wand, bracelets, and outfit her sister bought her for her birthday.

Midsummer happiness, running and spinning in the twilight on the grass...

Twirling....we liked seeing our skirts flare out...

A close-up of the fairy wand we made. Kate wanted a heart shape on top, and she chose to decorate it with some of her Winnie-the-Pooh stickers.

Faeries are light on their feet.

The Fairy Princess goes for a slide.

The Fairy Princess casts a water spell to turn on the waterfall.

The Mommy Fairy takes a turn with the wand.

Two faeries at play with the hummingbird decoration.

Kate's Fairy Princess hair-do.

Amie takes a turn with the wings: Fairy Amie.

Kate uses her wand to work some magic.

Our collection of fairy cakes. Kate helped me put the hearts on top. She did a good job, because I can't tell which ones she did and which ones I did.

Serving fairy cakes.

Our Midsummer Syllabub: a nonalcoholic version featuring grape cider and heavy whipped cream! Decadent? I do think so!

Midsummer's Eve begins...

Boppa's s'more....

The bonfire... Midsummer tradition actually requires people to jump over the bonfire, but we just decided to make s'mores instead!
Until next year, a happy Midsummer's Eve, everyone. Legend has it that if you get up early tomorrow morning and wash your face with the dew of a Midsummer's Day flower, you will grow ever more beautiful next year!