Seconded only by Christmas, Midsummer, or Midsommar is the most important annual event in the Swedish calendar. The winning combination of great food and great friends is all too tempting, especially when accompanied with dancing and lots of Schnapps!
Midsummer’s eve has long been a celebration of what many recognise as the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. In Sweden, it is tradition to celebrate this in the merriest of ways – bringing friends and family together for an unforgettable day to welcome in the summer holidays.
So between the 15th and 19th June, everyone regroups at their lakeside retreats, leaving city life behind. The setting is the country side; an idyllic Midsummer venue is entirely open to the elements, (weather permitting) with plenty of room for dancing and games.
The menu is bursting with delicious flavours. Pickled herring, grilled salmon and boiled new potatoes are accompanied by sour cream, chives and fresh dill. Those with a sweet tooth aren’t disappointed either; Swedish strawberries are unrivalled as a classic dessert with fresh cream! Beer and Schnapps are the drinks of choice, and when glasses are refilled everyone erupts into song.
The traditional maypole is present, covered in flowers from the countryside, which also adorn the heads of many young girls and women. Click here for instructions on how to create your own beautiful Midsummer headdress! The flowers are also picked by the hopeful young girls, as legend has it they will dream of their future love when placing the flowers under their pillows.
Full of food and drink, and worn out from dancing, we can all look forward to the long relaxing summer ahead – until next Midsummer! It is clear why this day is one of the most highly anticipated of the year!
Not in Sweden? Don’t despair! for those residing in London, Hyde Park holds Midsummer celebrations every year for swedes and non-swedes alike. Click here to see how you can join in!