A Swedish Midsummer


Epiphany! Light poured in, my soul took flight, and I had encountered why I was put here, and who to thank for it! Each portrait represents a fresh journey, a voyage of disclosure, as I am privileged to explore the uniqueness of others.

-David Goatley

Midsummer is a big deal in Sweden. Almost a bigger deal than Christmas!! Actually, if you were to ask a Swedish citizen they would probably say it is about equal to the Christmas holidays. Who new? It's such a big deal that Midsummer's Eve, and Midsummer's Day are national holidays awarding most citizen's the day off. Pretty nice if you ask me. I've been pretty tickled by this since it's centered around the Summer Solstice, and not around any one religion.

So what can you expect from a typical Swedish Midsummer's (or Midsommar's) celebration? Well, here is some of what to expect.

On the Menu

A typical Midsummer meal consists of the first potatoes of the year, pickled herring with sour cream, and fresh strawberries of the season...and, let not forget the schnapps! For some reason the Swedes like to sing songs before throwing back a shot of throat burning alcohol. I guess it makes it go down easier.


Houses are decorated inside and out with wreaths and flower garlands.

Events include dancing around a maypole while singing traditional songs, that everyone seems to know. I'm not kidding. I've witness this first hand, and it looks like everyone is having a fun time doing it...or is it the schnapps?

Midsummer's Eve, young girls will pick seven wildflowers (sometimes nine) and put them under their pillows when they go to sleep in belief they will dream of their future love. Cute.

Evening bonfires are also a common occurrence during the "Midsommar" celebrations which stretch throughout the two days.

Midsummer is believed to be a time of year when extra magic is in the air. A time for rituals and rites!!


So, there you have it. Some basic info on a Swedish Midsommar. One thing I have learned about the Swedes is they are true sun worshipers. In the dead of winter there can be close to only 4 hours of light, so when Spring and Summer come round they in no way take the sun for granted. People come alive, basking in the rays like nowhere I've ever been. It's pretty cool. However, it's easy to do in a place like Stockholm. With plenty of green space and lovely sites all around, it would be a challenge to take any of it for granted. That is why I feel so completely thankful to have gotten in touch with this country.

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