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Sweden’s most beloved and iconic festival, the Swedish Midsummer Celebration, is a tradition that brings together friends, family, and communities. This festive event is celebrated during the summer solstice and marks the longest day of the year.
This celebration has a long history, and there are many traditions that are observed during this time. One of the most common traditions is to gather around a maypole and dance around it. There are also many foods that are traditionally eaten during this time, including pickled herring served with new potatoes, chives, and sour cream.
This year, the Swedish Midsummer Eve is celebrated on June 23.
A Brief History of the Swedish Midsummer Celebration
The history of the Swedish Midsummer celebration goes back centuries. It is thought that this celebration originated as a pagan festival to honor the sun god. Over time, it has evolved into the popular tradition that is observed today. There are many rituals and traditions that are observed during Swedish Midsummer, it is a very festive time for the Swedes.
The Midsummer Festival was formerly a church celebration dedicated to John the Baptist on June 24. In 1953, it was decided that Midsummer’s Day would be observed on a Saturday, and it is now set between 20 and 26 June.
Decorations: The Maypole and Flower Crowns
One of the most recognizable symbols of the Swedish Midsummer Celebration is the Maypole (or “Midsommarstång” in Swedish). This tall wooden pile is adorned with greenery, flowers, and ribbons, and it’s the centerpiece of the festivities. People gather around the Maypole to sing, dance, and participate in traditional games.
After the raising of the maypole, people started dancing around it and did the frog dance. This dance imitates the frog and hopping around the maypole while singing a classic tune “Små grodorna”.
Another essential decorative element of the Swedish Midsummer Celebration is the flower crown. Both men and women wear these colorful wreaths made from fresh flowers and leaves.
Traditional Food and Drinks
The traditional foods that are eaten during the Swedish Midsummer celebrations vary and are synonymous with delicious food and drinks.
A typical Swedish Midsummer Celebration feast consists of an assortment of traditional dishes, including:
Venues: Where to Celebrate the Swedish Midsummer
The Swedish Midsummer Celebration is traditionally held outdoors, taking advantage of the long daylight hours and warm weather. Many Swedes choose to celebrate in their own backyards, while others head to public parks and gardens where larger gatherings take place.
Skansen, an open-air museum in Stockholm, hosts a massive Midsummer event every year. This family-friendly celebration features traditional music, dancing, games, and workshops where you can learn about Swedish culture and history.
Traditional and Modern Customs
The Swedish Midsummer Celebration is steeped in tradition, and many customs have been passed down through generations. Some of the most popular activities include:
What to Wear for the Swedish Midsummer Celebration
For women, consider wearing a white or floral-print dress, while men can opt for a blue or white shirt.
Midsummer is the most popular tradition in Sweden and it’s easy to see why. The Swedish Midsummer Celebration is a vibrant and enchanting event that brings people together to enjoy the best of Swedish culture and tradition.
Whether you’re planning to visit Sweden during this time or simply want to learn more about the festival, I hope this post has inspired you to embrace the spirit of the Swedish Midsummer Celebration!
If you’re looking for more things to do in Stockholm, you can visit a lot of museums in Stockholm for free!
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