Midsummer Day Celebrations

It is Midsummer Day!

In Howl’s Moving Castle, Sophie and Howl have defeated the Wicked Witch of the Waste and her fire demon; they have finished one adventure and begun a new, lifelong adventure: their (“quarrelsome”) happily ever after.

So: how to celebrate?

Well, for a start, Howl arrives home late Midsummer’s Eve or very early Midsummer Day rather drunk from his university rugby team reunion. Therefore, play rugby; watch a rugby game, particularly if a Welsh team is playing; wear short shorts because rugby players do (or a long stereotypically old-lady skirt, because of Sophie). Sleep in. Don’t shave.

Run around, even if it is as hot as a desert. Rescue somebody. Kiss someone (a pet counts, particularly if the pet is a dog *coughcalledPercivalcough*).

Castle in the Air

Midsummer Day also means that (a few years later), Abdullah and Flower-in-the-Night are comfortably ensconced as Ingary’s Ambassadors Extraordinaire and are either returning the missing princesses to their lands and establishing cordial relations with these new countries.

[I calculate that they would be traveling by this point since Abdullah raves over the bluebell flowers he encounters in Strangia and Ingary. Assuming that DWJ based Ingary’s seasons on the UK’s, the bluebells Abdullah so adores would have bloomed between April and May, indicating that his adventures with the old soldier and those of Flower-in-the-Night with the djinni (aka the bulk of Castle in the Air) took place during that time, followed by their joint adventures with the princesses over several months to a year (my guess) before their return to Ingary and construction of a thatched cottage and extensive gardens.]

Shamefully, I did not realize that the duration of their initial adventures had passed. Here are a few suggestions for celebrating Abdullah and Flower-in-the-Night and Prince Justin’s journeys:

Make up fantastical stories about yourself. Have a long, luxurious bath, followed by a leisurely shave and perfuming. Hide coins in the pockets of your clothes (bonus, if non-canonical: put the clothes away so you can find coins in your pockets later, when you do not expect it). Fly on a magic carpet.

Be mistaken for a woman (if you are a man); kidnap a friend for a day (be Hasruel!) and go on an adventure, perhaps to a museum or an unusual house. Try to avoid being arrested and threatened with a slow, painful death.

Declare yourself a magician of no ordinary power. Find a genie in a bottle (or just a very pretty bottle) and have somebody turned into a toad. Have yourself turned into a toad and back again.

Walk through hot sand or hike through a forest; get blisters either way. Drink a fruit smoothie or eat sorbet or anything cold with fruit in it. Drink beer and decide that it is disgusting.

Adopt a cat or two (okay, pet a cat or two) and be bossed around by it or them. Disguise yourself as a peasant and eat camping food (or instant “food”).

Coton Manor Bluebell Wood Northamptonshire Northants

(image source)

Work at perceiving people as people and not as figments of your fantasies.

Admire bluebells.

Bluebells - photography by foz

(one of many beautiful photos of bluebells posted here)