In Sweden, Midsummer is one of the most celebrated yearly traditions and probably the most uniquely Swedish in the way it is celebrated.
Young and old, some in traditional folkloric costumes, come together to cover the emblematic maypole with lots of greens and flowers and crowns made from delicate wild flowers are made for all the girls. After raising the maypole, it is time for some dancing to some very traditional sing songs such as Små groderna or Ritsch ratsch filibom bom bom.
Because Midsummer was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strongest, it was considered a good night to perform rituals to look into the future. Traditionally, young people pick bouquets of seven or nine different flowers and put them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming about their future spouse.
The year’s first potatoes and strawberries are savoured along with some typical pickled herring, chives and sour cream. On the drink list there is beer and of course schnapps! Like any other celebration, us Swedes love to sing for every shot we take! And there usually are a few!
For those of you who would like to experience this odd yet festive celebration, why not join the large party held in London’s Hyde Park every year?