Summer Solstice Protective Ritual

The protective rituals on the night of the summer solstice included also the preparation of wreaths. Unmarried girls were carefully selecting the herbs and flowers for their wreath. Its shape and color was meant to symbolize the warming power of the Sun, among many other meanings. In Mazovia the most common elements for the wreath was the all-yellow crown daisy (złocień), dandelion (mniszek lekarski), arnica (arnika), marigold (nagietek), St. John’s wort (dziurawiec), buttercup (jaskier), globeflower (pełnik), and also camomile (rumianek). After midnight the girls performed a ritual in which the water and the fire were meant to connect. The herbal wreaths were decorated with a candle, and they swam down the rivers with the burning flame.