Nostalgia is a cultural phenomenon that isn’t going away… it’s one of the reasons, for instance, why sports teams engage in “Turn Back the Clock” events or utilize “throwback” uniforms. It seems everyone likes a taste of the old days now and then.
Well, Beaver Valley has its own bit of nostalgia that we think is worth preserving.
Everyone is invited to keep Saturday, June 23rd in mind as they are planning their summer activities, for that’s the day we’ll renew our annual and traditional Midsummer celebration!
What is Midsummer? Beaver Valley’s heritage as a Swedish Lutheran church is rooted in this annual celebration (also known as St. John the Baptist’s Day), centered around the summer solstice. Many northern European Christian denominations have celebrated Midsummer (or, in Swedish, “Midsommar”) for generations, though the exact dates vary between cultures. Swedish (and BVLC) Midsommar was traditionally observed on June 24, regardless of the day of week; however, it is now generally observed on the Saturday immediately following the first day of summer.
In Sweden, even today, Midsommar is such an important festivity it is almost considered a national holiday. The event is about getting out into the countryside and enjoying a day of relaxation, celebrating nature and summer (as well as the longest days, in terms of daylight, of the year), raising and dancing around greenery-covered maypoles (thought to bring good luck), playing games and… of course… enjoying food and fellowship.
A small, devoted group gathered on March 18 to discuss Midsummer at Beaver Valley – where it is today, and where it could be in the future. After reminiscing about past years, and thinking about how this event relates to our church’s mission and purpose, all agreed this is a tradition worth saving and building upon. Small planning and outreach committees have already been established in order to help bring this traditional celebration roaring back to prominence.
For now, you’re simply being asked to save the date (Sat. June 23). More details will be coming, but you can certainly expect an old-fashioned family celebration, beginning with games (including softball and three-legged races, to name a couple), maypole raising, a picnic-type dinner, followed by something Beaver Valley does extraordinarily well….the singing of well-loved hymns. The evening will conclude with dessert – pie and ice cream!
Please keep this special and worthwhile heritage event in mind and seek out church council members with any input you have to share; if they are not personally involved in the planning, they will know where to steer you. The goal for 2018 and beyond is to again make Midsummer relevant to the life of this congregation, and to keep it so up to (and through) our upcoming 150th anniversary celebration in 2023!