This is the day when all Swedes are celebrating Midsummer. The day when most of the Stockholmers escape the city and take a trip to the countryside or the archipelago. Except that this year, the weather seems unusually harsh to us….

Maybe it’s a lucky thing that Swedes got some Viking blood in them, because sometimes, our Swedish climate is not so nice to us. The start of this summer has been the coldest in over 50 years it’s still cold to be summer.

The thing is that what we Swedes like to visualize a true Swedish Midsummer celebration with, is a warm sunny summer day, with a sky as blue as it can be, flowers everywhere and to sit outside in our gardens eating festive midsummer meals.

OK, now that’s not all true. One picture we all actually are having, also is that it use to come some rain showers. We all have this other picture too: the one where we’re carrying (saving) our midsummer table full of delicious food indoors to save us from the rain. Then out again.

This can go on, In- out- in- out – following the sun all day! *giggles*

So what’s this Midsummer celebration about?

From the beginning it was more of a way for the farmers to celebrate the start of the summer and the fertility season, offering flowers to Freja, the nordic goddess of fertility, to get healthy growing crops.

Nowadays this old tradition is more a way of celebrating that the summer has arrived even though one can doubt that it has sometimes…

We do this by going out picking flowers, making wreaths of them to place on the maypole early in the day. The maypole is a tall pole with a cross on it, which we raise, usually around 1 or 2 o’clock in the afternoon and after that dancing around it singing some very traditional songs.

Midsummer Celebrations in Vadstena 2008, Sweden, Photo Copyright

Some people still wear Swedish folk costumes this day – a very nice sight – and there are folk dance including lots of other activities too.

This is one of the times when we’re gathering our families and/or friends having a big dinner table with lots of traditional food. (Read more about it by clicking the link to our post in the end of this post).

It’s a magical night with many opportunities to romance. The sun don’t set. All the unmarried girls are supposed to pick different types of flowers and put under their pillows to dream about their future love.

Many Love storys in Sweden starts (or ends!) this night.

Where to celebrate Midsummer in Stockholm

There are some places in Stockholm where you can celebrate Midsummer, not all people vanish from the city to the countryside even though it can feel like that. The most obvious places are Skansen and some of our parks.

Here are some more info Where to celebrate Midsummer in Stockholm 2009.

Be prepared for the fact that there can be some trouble to find clubs to go out in the city in the evening though, since this can be experienced a bit like a ghost town this special day, so be sure to check up which places are open and where to go!

Have a look in DN’s (Swedish newspaper) “In the city” webpage: The Midsummer Weekends Clubs.

Here you can read some of our older posts about Midsummer, more about the traditional food etc: Midsummer flower power love with some photos and the Thursday Thirteen Midsummer facts.

Lifecruiser Midsummer


12 Comments on “Happy Midsummer Stockholm”

    Maribeth said:

    I would love to be celebrating the start of summer. But, all we have had is cold, rain and gloomy skies! Where is summer?


    What fun for you to celebrate the beginning of summer. I so love the warm weather months.

    Have a terrific time. :)


    When I was living in NYC I heard about this popular celebration. And I always wanted to be there for it, now I get to, through you:)

    DianeCA said:

    We are celebrating midtsommernatt in Sweden this year. The weather did not cooperate very much but it is still paradise for us!!

    » Midsummer Eve Esther Garvi: aka Ishtar News said:

    [...] PS: If you want to know what Midsummer in Sweden is all about, fellow (Swedish) blogger Lifecruiser has an informative post about it today. You find the link here. [...]

    Esther Garvi said:

    Loved the post! (linked to it!)
    Warm greetings from Falkenberg,

    TorAa said:

    I really hope the climate was better in Stockholm than last night here in our Summerhouse – 10 C. brrrr. Nothing for persons with back pains;-))

    In Oslo yesterday evening was a free pop concert with more than 100.000 spectactors in front of the City Hall. Among the artists was A-ha and the winner of this years Euro Song Contest Alexander Rybak.
    We watched it on TV.

    Puss in Boots said:

    It’s our Winter Solstice this weekend, the shortest day of the year. Over the next few weeks the days will imperceptibly lengthen for the next six months, bringing us to the Summer Solstice in December.

    Now you see why we feel as if we’re upside down in the world.

    Luc said:

    Have a great celebration. I know someone who’ on vacation in Sweden right now. Apparently you’ve had quite some temperature drop few weeks ago.

    Charles Ravndal said:

    I am also excited to attend a Midsummer Nights festival. I hope they will have that in Fredrikstad since I am spending a week there with Odd starting next week.

    RennyBA said:

    Interesting and informative post about your Midsummer celebration. You know we where in Sweden this weekend so I had to make a post about this summer solstice phenomena too – with my personal twist of course.

    Even if the reason is the same, the thousands of year back pagan tradition of celebrating the longest day (19 hours of daylight in Stockholm as well as Oslo), it strikes me how different we celebrate it in Norway compared to Sweden. We do this bone fire thing at St. Hans day (23rd of June), while you have Midsummer Eve and this may pole. I like your tradition even more also because of your dancing and folk costumes that day (a bit similar to our 17th of May in that way). I have to dig into this differences of celebration one day :-)


    Haha, I love Midsummer – and Stockholm!

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