Why is midsummers day in june if

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jonukas | 17:19 Wed 28th Nov 2007 | Word Origins
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Why is midsummers day in June if the 3 Summer months begin with June. Surely, midsummer should be in July, shouldn't it ?


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The months are man made. Midsummers day is based on science.
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thanks for that Postdog
Summer officially begins at the solstice on 21st/22nd June and ends at the autumnal equinox on 21st/22nd September. On that basis, Midsummer would be around the beginning of August! However, it is obvious that standard phrases such as "flaming June" and "hotter than a June bride in a feather bed" have nothing whatever to do with springtime phenomena, which that official definition would largely mean.
As the second definition of �summer', The Oxford English Dictionary says:
"in popular use, comprising in the northern hemisphere the period from mid-May to mid-August."
Traditionally, Midsummer's Day was June 24th and - in a temperate climate such as ours - the seasons are all about the same 13 weeks or so. Accordingly, summer would, in most people's view, begin some 6� weeks before June 24th, which is around May 10th , and end around August 9th. That fits almost perfectly with what the OED says.
So, you can take your pick...the official definition or the one that common language and experience tells you is so.
(Bear in mind that, if June 22nd is Day 1 of summer and June 24th is Midsummer's Day, then June 27th must be the first day of Autumn!!)
hotter than a June bride in a feather bed? A standard phrase I have never heard, Quizmonster, but is it entirely meteorological?
Only partially, J, but I cannot imagine anyone substituting 'February' for 'June' in the phrase, although the lady may well still be as warm as toast, given the circumstances!
In normal British day-to-day spoken usage, the whole of June is a summer month, not just its last nine days, despite what the scientists/meteorologists tell us.
The longest day (in terms of daylight) is in June (in the northen hemisphere, December in Southern hemisphere) so I suppose it is scientifically based.

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