Is today International Fairy Day?

I keep seeing this, as well as references to some mysterious “official fairy day web site.” Trying to track down its origins, I have come to the conclusion that “international fairy day” may have been an invention of fantasy artist Jessica Galbreth. For those who love such things, her book, The Enchanted World of Jessica Galbreth, is a classic:

But if you visit her web site, thevintageangel.com, you’ll see no fairies in evidence, only angels, and this statement: “In 2010, Jessica retired her old body of work, feeling it no longer fit with who she was.  As a Christian, she set out to shine her light with a new body of angel and inspirational art.”

Whether Galbreth did or didn’t invent an “international fairy day” in conjunction with her earlier, presumably pagan-themed work, Midsummer and the summer solstice have always been devoted to the fair folk. Many Northern cultures have celebrated the summer solstice under various names: St. John’s Day, Midsummer Eve, Litha, and others. In Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark especially, it is marked by festivities surrounding June 21, the longest day in the year. However, the celebration itself may take place any time between June 19 and June 25, so I’m happy to see I’m not behind-hand in noting this important event.

What does any of this have to do with fairies? Wiccans claim that the summer solstice is one of the days in the year when the veil between the spirit world and the human world is at its thinnest. It’s the day the fairies come out to play. http://wiccansage.hubpages.com/hub/Celebrating-the-Summer-Solstice-A-Fairy-Ritual-for-Midsummer

Here’s a link to history.com’s list of summer solstice celebrations worldwide: http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/summer-solstice-traditions

My own favorite summer solstice tradition is to re-read William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

In Act II, sc. 1, the mischievous fairy Puck arrives. He questions another fairy: “How now, spirit? Whither wander you?”

The response gives the perfect picture of the fairy life:

Over hill, over dale,

Thorough bush, thorough brier,

Over park, over pale,

Thorough flood, thorough fire,

I do wander everywhere,

Swifter than the moon’s sphere;

And I serve the fairy queen,

To dew her orbs upon the green.

The cowslips tall her pensioners be:

In their gold coats spots you see;

Those be rubies, fairy favours,

In those freckles live their savours:

I must go seek some dewdrops here

And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.

Wherever it comes from, happy Fairy Day!

Midsummer_Night's_Dream_Henry_Fuseli

Henry Fuseli, 1796 (engraver, J. P. Simon). “Midsummer Nights Dream Act IV Scene I–A wood – Titiania [i.e., Titania], queen of the fairies, Bottom, fairies attending & etc.” housed in Library of Congress. Source: Wikimedia Commons. This image is in the public domain because its copyright has expired.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: