Swedes are probably one of my favourite people in the world. So, it is no surprise that Sweden is at the top of my travel bucket list. That is why I asked my friends Jenny and Tilda to take me through Sweden’s most prolific celebration Midsommar. Midsommar or Midsummer is the celebration of the start of summer holidays and the peak of summer with most parts of Sweden’s sun never setting.
This dreamy celebration takes place between the 19th and 25th of June. Both Jenny and Tilda shared some pictures from their Midsummer celebrations. For context, I asked Tilda a few questions about Midsommar.
Q: Where and with who did you celebrate this year’s Midsommar?
Tilda: I celebrated Midsummer Eve together with my immediate family as well as my cousins, aunts and uncles in the small village I’m from.
Q: Where are you from?
Tilda: Falun is the town, but my village is called Svardjo.
Q: What is Midsummer?
Tilda: Midsummer is one of the oldest and most widely celebrated holidays of the year in Sweden, but to the uninitiated, some of the festivities can seem a little bit odd! We usually gather early afternoon and start the big celebrations with strawberry cake and drinks and then we move on to the traditional festivities like the dancing around the maypole which includes the so-called “frog dance”. Later on, we gather around the dinner table that includes herring in all its forms: pickled, smoked, served with onions and served with dill. We sing drinking songs and drink loads of alcohol, maybe you’ve heard of “snaps”?! After dinner, we party until the sun goes up. Where I’m from we usually continue partying on day two but then with friends and then it’s like any other house party or night out.
NB: Snaps or Nubbe is Swedish vodka served ice cold in a shot glass.
Tilda: Apart from spending lots of time with your loved ones, my favourite thing about Swedish midsummer is the part with all the flowers. Swedes wearing flower wreath in their hair, regardless of age and gender. The flowers are also used to dress up the maypole. According to Swedish tradition, you should also pick seven kinds of flowers and put them underneath your pillow. Then you’ll dream about your future husband or wife.
Tilda: If you want to experience Swedish culture, traditions and beautiful scenery and landscapes It’s a big opportunity for a tourist to come to visit Sweden when this holiday takes place! It’s the quintessential summer celebration and something that people look forward to throughout the year, especially during the long, dark Scandinavian winters.
Midsummer not only brings communities together, as it usually takes place outdoors and families travel to the countryside, but it’s also an opportunity to show tourists and newcomers a classic Swedish celebration. If you’re visiting Sweden and want to experience a traditional Midsummer, the countryside and especially the central region called “Dalarna” (also where I’m from) may be your best bet. Since it’s well known for very big celebrations in the most traditional way.