Midsummer, also called the solstice, marks the beginning of the summer season.  This longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere is cause for a celebration, especially in the Scandinavian nations.  I spent one summer in Norway – Land of the Midnight Sun – and loved to tell my Norwegian mother before going out, “I’ll be home when it gets dark.”

This year it occurs on June 20th, but is sometimes celebrated the weekend after the actual solstice.  The holiday is one of the most-anticipated events of the year, and is marked by bonfires, eating delicious food, dancing, and drinking (natch).

Herbs harvested during midsummer were thought to be highly potent, and have healing properties.  Here I offer my Herbalicious Salmon recipe from The Tamara Twist.

Celebrating Midsummer began as a pagan holiday, and many of the traditions from those times prevail.  Thought to be the most “fertile” day of the year, mock weddings symbolic of new life, are a tradition for both adults and children.  Also thought to be a time when evil spirits are close, bonfires are burned to protect revelers from malicious powers.  Folklore says that if a girl sleeps with flowers under her pillow on this night, she will dream of her future husband.

So have a drink, eat some salmon, and enjoy this longest day of the year.  Skol!