Best time to get honey
From time immemorial, after winter the snow disappear and warmth covers the foliage with green shoots and garlands the earth with flowers. Many of which were used for medicinal remedies.
According to tradition, the best time to collect honey from hives was the first full moon in June. With that honey they prepared a magic drink that they supplied during the month following the union of married couples to foment love and to guarantee the fertility of the newlyweds.
In the Scandinavian cultures it was customary for newlyweds to drink libations during the wedding ceremony and the first lunation mead was toasted in memory of Odin, father of the Norse gods. Its consumption also extended to other cultures. Thus, this nectar of the gods was known in the time of classical Greece under the name of melikraton and the Romans took it mulled with wine, aqua mulsum.
The Festival of Litha
Before the Christian era, during the night of 21 June, the northern hemisphere also celebrated the festival of Litha. During this night, it was tradition to collect flowers and plants with the belief that they possessed healing powers. In addition, they lit bonfires after sunset to ward off the evil spirits. The festival of Litha is preceded by the feast of the goddess Beltane, which marks the summer solstice in Celtic tradition, followed by the Lughnasadh festival, or the wedding of the god Lug on 1 August.
In the northern hemisphere, when the sun passes through the Tropic of Cancer, the summer solstice marks the beginning of the summer season. Following this tradition, the month of June continues to be preferred for weddings and possibly the honeymoon has its origin in this tradition.
According to the opinion of some anthropologists, the solstice and its celebrations have been present since Neolithic times, and today it is still considered one of the most important celebrations of the year in the cultures of northern Europe, as it remains in some Occitan valleys, like the so-called Crèma deth Taro in the town of Arties (Val d’Aran) which is celebrated on the night of 23 June, and in which a fir tree trunk is jumped by young people and then dragged along the streets to the sound of music and cheers. According to popular belief, the people are purified and the evil spirits are banished.
So while each one of us awaits what future the stars hold in store for this summer, as we observe the Moon, Mars and Saturn on this magical night, some of us may not be able to avoid untying some of the bands that bind our memories to our skin. And we too may end up invoking the spirit of Litha grant us the divine grace of dreamed-of kisses tasting of honey and desire.