If there is one single thing that special Swedish it’s probably the Midsummer celebration. It’s always the first Friday after summer solstice.
For us Swedes midsummer’s eve is the true National Day where we celebrate the Swedish summer and the light. For most, the reasons for celebration are not very clear, but the tradition is very strong. Many activities for the whole family and especially the children, allowing grownups to behave like children for a while. There’s dancing around a pole, draped in birch leaves and the Swedish colors, singing silly songs while doing silly dances in a big ring. We use the same songs during Christmas, six months later but then around a fir-tree, still with the Swedish colors.
We eat the same thing for dinner, pickled herring, eggs, salmon in several varieties. Unique to the midsummer table is the fresh potatoes with a special kind of pickled herring, Matjessill. For dessert strawberries with whipped cream and to this, many drink snaps. To drink the snaps, we need to sing more silly songs in loud voices while standing up with raised glasses. As the evening goes and more songs have been sung the standing part gets more and more difficult.
The Swedish midsummer dinner must take place outside even with cold north winds and horizontal rain pouring down. More exercise after the dancing, running with the whole dinner table in and out between the rain showers. But what we always remember is the midsummer when the sun was shining, weather was warm all the way into the night. This year it actually was.
Traditions bring family and friends together and allow people to let go from life musts. Even the strictest civil servant can fool around for a while in what you can call dance, singing silly songs about how funny the little frogs are. I think the little frogs are laughing their legs off when looking at the civil servant!
Summertime and the living is easy, ha de Gött!
Lovely! Thank you for sharing!
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