Midsummer is one of the biggest Swedish celebrations of the year, as well as the longest and most colourful day. It’s crazy to think this was our first restriction free Midsummer since arriving in Sweden over two years ago!
We bought strawberries and took an early train to the countyside — it was full of people dressed in Summer clothes, carrying big bags of food, alcohol and outdoor essentials.
Picking flowers for table decorations and flower crowns (blomkrans) was the first job of the day. Our friends have an amazing garden, so there were plenty to choose from.
We spent a couple of hours sat at this table making flower crowns. I’m definitely in the ‘more is more’ crowd when it comes to plants, so my crown was pretty bushy. Might as well make it count when it’s something I only wear once a year!
I love the Midsummer lunch. Pickled herring in various sauces served with boiled egg, onion and chives. Rye bread, boiled potatoes with dill, mustard sauce and Västerbottenpaj (like a very cheesy quiche). Washed down with beer and snaps strong enough to wake the dead.
After lunch, we went to the community green to see the maypole and buy raffle tickets. Thanks to our recent Swedish lessons, we understood all the numbers they read out. Only a small thing but it made us feel good.
A few people danced but most sat in the shade because it was incredibly hot (the hottest Midsummer in fifty years). I couldn’t dance around the midsommarstång because I pinched a nerve in my shoulder and neck, the day before. I was moving like a human ironing board 🙁
One of the dances involved everyone holding hands and moving in a circle, then someone pretending to be a bear trying to eat everyone — that was Scott this year. People also pretended to be small frogs, and randomly stopped to laugh and cry. It was hilarious to watch.
You’re supposed to pick seven different flowers and place them under your pillow that night. The idea being you’ll dream about your future husband. I just settled for a flower crown as I don’t have time for two husbands.
The day finally started to cool. We relaxed with drinks and did some Abba karaoke under the parasols.
Our evening meal was gravlax, asparagus, mustard sauce, salad, rice and peas (an Indian recipe) and pastries filled with cheese and spinach.
It was such a good day and nice to finally experience a normal Midsummer. Light stayed with us until almost midnight and returned just a couple of hours later. The next day, there were five fewer seconds of light compared to the day before (from Sun of Stockholm)… the slow descent into darkness has begun!
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