Midsummer in Sweden…the highlight of this season!

To anyone who has been in Sweden for a while will have realised that Midsummer is probably the biggest of all holidays in Sweden. Yes… you heard me correctly! Bigger than Valborg, Swedish National Day and maybe (dare I say it) for Swedes, a bigger deal than Christmas!

Why?

Because Swedes love the summer.  Fact.

You don’t have to look hard to see people across Stockholm soaking up the warm sunny rays in parks, on benches, and by the water as soon as the opportunity presents itself. And Midsummer signals the beginning of a (hopefully) warm summer, a looong (!) vacation and it is just the perfect excuse to get together and, well… celebrate!

In Sweden, Midsummer is not always celebrated on Midsummer’s day (June 21) itself.  Instead, in orderly Swedish fashion, Midsummer’s Eve always takes place on a Friday between 19th – 25th June and the celebrations commence.

How to celebrate Midsummer in true Swedish style…

  1. Gather together with family…or friends…or both! If you don’t have a summer house in the countryside to escape to, just gather together your nearest and dearest and well…enjoy it wherever you are!
  2. Gather around the maypole and expect traditional dancing…or head to somewhere where maypole dancing is taking place such as here.
  3. Get the food right…It wouldn’t be midsummer in Sweden without varieties of pickled herring, boiled potatoes and sour cream being on the traditional Swedish Midsummer menu. With strawberries making an appearance for dessert. Today, many Swedish tables also often feature other foods – for a taste of other Sweden, make sure you include gravad lax (or salmon), skagen, crayfish & meatballs.
  4. …And of course, this should all be washed down with some cold Swedish Schnapps (often spiced) or a cold beer.
  5. On a musical note…there are many-a-Swedish songs to be learnt to accompany the drinking of various beverages – traditionally, as a new glass is poured, so a song it sung to accompany it!

Glad Midsommar allihopa!


Photo credits: max03 | Håkan Dahlström | Johan HanssonVirre Linwendil Annergård

15th June 2015

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