Sweden celebrates midsummer

  • carolina_romare-midsummer_pole-1764

    Midsummer Photo: Stefan Borg

  • stefan_berg-midsummer_celebration-3731

    Midsummer Photo: Stefan Borg

This Friday June 23 June Swedes all around the world celebrate the Swedish tradition of Midsummer. At Midsummer, many begin their five-week annual holidays and everyone is in a hurry to get things done during the relatively short summer season.

Swedes like the world to be well-ordered, so Midsummer Eve is always a Friday between 19 and 25 June. People often begin the day by picking flowers and making wreaths to place on the maypole, which is a key component in the celebrations.

The maypole is raised in an open spot and traditional ring-dances ensue, to the delight of the children and some of the adults. Teenagers tend to stay out of it and wait for the evening’s more riotous entertainment.

A typical Midsummer menu features different kinds of pickled herring, boiled new potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and chives. This is often followed by a grilled dish of some kind, such as spare rib or salmon, and for dessert the first strawberries of summer, with cream.

The traditional accompaniment is a cold beer and schnapps, preferably spiced. Every time the glasses are refilled, singing breaks out anew. Swedes like drinking songs, and the racier the better.

Midsummer is a popular time of year for weddings and christening ceremonies. Despite their poor showing as churchgoers, Swedes still like to wed in a country church with a flower-bedecked, arched entrance and beautiful hymns.

Watch this! midsummer for dummies http://mediaroom.sweden.se/video/39345149

To find out more about the origins of midsummer, old and new traditions, click here

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