You may have heard that Midsummer in Scandinavia and the Nordic countries means, copious amounts of alcohol, eating raw fish and dancing around a phallus of flowers, like a frog…. it sounds terrible! But, we can assure you, it is the, BEST party of the Year!
Midsummer is a huge occasion in the nordic countries, not surprising after their long, dark winters. It is arguably a bigger celebration than christmas and one of the most celebrated days of the year, filled with festive spirit & traditions. The summer solstice is mainly an outdoor event, enjoying the warmer weather, longer lighter nights and being one with nature, which is a must for Scandinavians.
Towns and cities will almost be deserted as everyone vacates to the country & islands for this midsummer party. There is a huge exodus from the towns to the country by car, boat and bike to get to their desired gathering place.
Midsummer celebrations are the perfect time to catch up with family and friends. There are huge gatherings as well as small intimate parties, all ready for fun, food & dancing, whatever your age. The perfect time for throwing caution to the wind, if you are near a lake or water you may indulge in having a midnight dip too! This years summer celebration is on the 22nd June mid summer eve and into the next day. Traditional features of this glorious event are usually a large bonfire to gather around and a beautifully made flower maypole.
This magical summers eve is a typical traditional celebration, part of the day is decorating and erecting the Maypole which is adorned with lush foliage and summer flowers, all important factors of joining in together. Some say the Maypole looks like a phallus, and represents a fertility symbol!!! What do you think? Many people will wear traditional costumes and even more will adorn their heads with handmade wreaths called, Krahns, made with intertwining soft birch twigs and luscious green foliage and flowers, a pretty summer crown .
Summer time has a magical energy and legend has it, that if you are unmarried or looking for someone, then pick 7 different flowers on this summers eve and place them under your pillow, you will dream of your future partner!
Not only is the erecting of the maypole and head wreath making important but so is the traditional dancing around the pole, called, ” Sma Grodorna” ( little frogs dancing). No one knows why this is the dance to do, but it seems the perfect time to hop around the pole and sing a silly song about frogs and everyone joins in!
No celebration is complete without a feast and the traditional fair would be something like this delicious menu.
New Potatoes with pickled herring or salmon, copious amounts of beers, schnapps and other alcoholic treats, followed by lots of fresh summer strawberries and cream and the delicious Strawberry Cake, of which there are many recipes. Try making pickled herring from Karen Burns Booths gorgeous blog ,for this savoury delight, follow the link above highlighted for the whole recipe.
Followed by Fresh Strawberries and Traditional Strawberry Cake, something like this.
If you want a traditional swedish recipe for Midsummer Strawberry cake, then click on this link to find a yummy recipe from the Swedishfood.com for a delicious cake to indulge in.
Midsummer is a glorious time for coming together with family & friends and connecting with that magical energy, light & nostalgia and embracing this fleeting, special moment in our year.
Here’s a summary of a Scandi Midsummer take a look at this cool U tube video, Swedish Midsummer For Dummies!! It’s very entertaining! “GLAD MIDSOMMAR”TO YOU ALL…