“Summer Day in Albania”

Summer Day has already become a traditional holiday. According to the Julian calendar is celebrated on March 1st, while under the Gregorian one, is celebrated on March 14th. Spring, in ancient times, was known as the beginning of the reign of the sun and fire. It was celebrated as the most important period of the nature’s explosion. During this day rituals of pagan origin are performed. They had to do with the renewal of nature. In his speech the director of the National Historical Museum, Dr. Dorian Koçi, made a general overview on Summer Day’s importance, quoting Faik Konitza, who in 1911 wrote: “What Is Summer Day? It is the day when our great-grandfathers, when no Christianity existed, celebrated with the Romans and the Old Greeks, the gods of flowers, willows and springs. When winter melts, when Summer approaches smiling as a painting of Botiçeli, the human heart removes this burden, enjoys a serenity, a sweet happiness. ”

Dr. Skënder Bushi, one of the referrers, said: “The origin of this celebration is related to the Eleusine Mysteries, a celebration of religious origin celebrated in the city of Eleus, outside Athens, in honor of Demetrius deity and her daughter Persefon. The most important rites of Eleusina in Atika seem to relate to the stages of the agricultural year. Moreover, these festivals appear to be related to a part of the Homeric Hymns, especially when Eleusus was involved in Atika, which is the main site where the narrative of these hymns is centered, where Hymn 2nd, respectively, speaks of the abduction of Persephone by Hadi, the god of the underworld. According to mythology, Demetra, the goddess of fertility and agriculture, who before this event gave generously rich crops to people, reacted desperately to the abduction of her daughter, causing a long severe winter, which seemed infinite. Zeus had to intervene and according to the agreement with Hadi allowed Persephone to remain alone in the afterlife for several months, while the rest of the year would be spend with her mother. So, Persephone would spend six months in the underground with her husband Hadin, and the rest of the year with her mother. Demetra, in gratitude, welcomed the return of Persephone to earth, reviving nature in spring and summer. “​

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