Sunday, 21 June 2015

Sonnenwendfeuer

The Solstice Fire

All across Europe, many of those who have returned to the faith of our forebears will be celebrating the solstice with bonfires. Even the christians continued this tradition with fires they made sacred to saint John, whose sacred day is the solstice. 

One fire-ritual is jumping over the solstice fire. The flames burn away bad luck and grant fertility. As far south as Greece this custom survives (though on a much later date in the month due to the Orthodox calendar being changed) - however this custom is strongest in the northern European countries, especially the Baltic states, where paganism survived and was practised for much longer than the rest of Europe which had become christian.

 "Where experience herefore have shown, that after the old heathen use, on John's day in every year, in the country, as well in towns as villages, money and wood have been gathered by young folk, and there upon the so-called sonnenwendt or zimmet fire kindled, and thereat winebibbing, dancing about the said fire, leaping over the same, with burning of sundry herbs and flowers, and setting of brands from the said fire in the fields, and in many other ways all manner of superstitious work carried on — Therefore the Hon. Council of N├╝rnberg town neither can nor ought to forbear to do away with all such unbecoming superstition, paganism, and peril of fire on this coming day of St. John."

Grimm, Jacob (1883). Teutonic Mythology, Volume 2.

The 'Zimmet' fire corresponds to the English word 'Summit', meaning when the sun is as its highest.


For National Socialists the solstice would had been a sacred day - along with Hitler's birthday and the winter solstice, the summer solstice was declared a national holiday.




Members of the HJ jump the solstice fire!