June 22nd, 2006

Thursday Thirteen Midsummer

Posted by Lifecruiser in Odditys, Love, Food, Swedish


1. Tomorrow, Friday the 23rd of June, we celebrate midsummer here in Sweden. Many workers begin their annual five weeks vacation now, so of course we like to celebrate it :-)

2. From the beginning it was more of a way for the farmers to celebrate the start of the summer and the fertility season. They offered floral decorations to the nordic goddess of fertility, Freja, to get healthy growing crops.

3. Now it has become the most Swedish of all traditions. If we ever really appreciate and love the Swedish Flag, this is the day. You see it every where, even as a table decoration.

4. Mostly the festivities is held out in the countryside, which means that Swedish citys - even our capital Stockholm - is more like ghost citys this holiday. People is deserting from the city at the latest the day before. It’s rush traffic out of town.

5. The main traditional thing to do, is to go out picking flowers and making wreaths to place on the maypole. The maypole is a tall pole with a cross on it, which we dance (quite silly :-) around singing some very traditional songs. This is so traditional that we do it even if it rains. And it does. Often. Not only where I am…*lol*

6. Midsummer is also the time when the swedish people which still is left with some folk costumes, dust them off and wears them. Once in a year time. Maybe also for some wedding event or something similar. It’s very popular with weddings at Midsummer.

7. Now we comes to the next most essentials besides Love: The traditional Midsummer Menu. It is boiled new potatoes, different sorts of pickled herring, red onion and soured cream to start with. The main course is often some grilled meat or salmon. As dessert it’s the first strawberries of the summer with whipped cream we really associate with Midsummer - or summer generally.

9. We drink cold beer and spiced schnapps (snaps in Swedish) to that and every time we refill the glasses, it’s time to start singing again. We like drinking songs (snapsvisor), and there are really speedy ones sometimes…. Oh, and did I mention that it usually comes some rain during the festivities? So it’s very common that we carry the tables with all the food in and out between the showers! *lol*

10. In the evening the dance is starting. The ideal is an outdoor dance floor situated some where beutiful, maybe at the shores of one of our 100 000 Swedish lakes. It’s a magical night and also very romantic. Many Love storys in Sweden starts (or ends!) this night.

11. Young girls were earlier practically vacuumcleaning *lol* the meadows for seven different kind of flowers on the way home from the dance, since there is this saying that: if they put the flowers under their pillow that night, they will dream about their future husband. Nowadays I’m not so sure any more, if the girls don’t want to get married or if they just believe in this tradition ;-)

12. Midsummer Night is the lightest day of the year and in Northern Sweden the sun never sets - i guess they get compensated for the dark winters when they hardly have any daylight at all. Here in Stockholm the sun will set, but it will not become completely dark.

13. We’re going to celebrate it with good friends in their home outside Stockholm, more like the countryside, a really traditional Midsummer with it all (so it won’t be any post here tomorrow, Friday). They have two horses at their home too, so they said we even will take a trip with a horse and cart. Awesome!

H A P P Y * M I D S U M M E R !

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Cruise list: Tnchick, PixiePincessMom, Sisiggy, Chi, Colleen, Napfisk, Elle, Mandy, Froggie, Francesca Gray, YellowRose, Christina, Sherri, Margie Mix, Astrocoz, and Happy and Blue 2.

16 Responses to ' Thursday Thirteen Midsummer '

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  1. Happy and Blue 2 said:

    That is so interesting. Hope you enjoy it..

    Lifecruiser: We most certainly will - even if it start raining…

    June 22nd, 2006 at 1:57 am

  2. astrocoz said:

    That sounds like a beautiful holiday. I wish we had some like that in the US, it sounds like you really appreciate nature and that this holiday celebrates it. Just beautiful!

    My TT is up!

    Lifecruiser: Yes, I guess Swedes always have been very aware of the nature and taking care of it too.

    June 22nd, 2006 at 2:39 am

  3. Margie Mix said:

    Sounds like a great time! I never tried spiced schnapps. How do they serve these in Sweden? Great list as always. -Margie

    Lifecruiser: It’s really strong, in very small glasses like shot glasses and preferably very chilled, you have to have beer at the side too and it’s served together with the pickled herring mostly. You kind of have to get used to the taste both of the herring and the snaps I think, but after that it’s very tasty :-)

    June 22nd, 2006 at 3:17 am

  4. Sherri said:

    The 23rd of June is the lightest day here too (middle of Canada), but we don’t have a mid-summer celebration as you do…yours sounds charming! And 5 weeks vacation?!! Wow, most people here just get 3. I didn’t know snapps was Swedish?!!

    My list is uP:)

    Lifecruiser: It started out as medicine against pain as far as I could understand, I’m not sure of the date. I do know that Denmark too has Snaps, so maybe we were influenced from them or vice verse. Yes, I know that most people react on that 5 weeks vacation, it’s awesome. But I must say that I think it’s some kind of compensation for living in such dark and cold country. We only have maximum 3 months summer if we get lucky with the weather, which we seldom are, so that leave us with about a month with really good weather.

    June 22nd, 2006 at 4:12 am

  5. Christina said:

    Sounds like a gorgeous celebration! Very festive. Enjoy :cool:

    My T13 is up.

    Lifecruiser: Yes, it is and we will :-)

    June 22nd, 2006 at 5:50 am

  6. YellowRose said:

    Sounds like an absolutely wonderful time!! I love the idea of the young girls gathering flowers to stick under their pillows, to dream of their future husbands. Love that!

    Great list! Happy Thursday! My TT is up!!

    Lifecruiser: Yes, I think that is a really nice tradition too, I hope that it will continue.

    June 22nd, 2006 at 5:58 am

  7. Francesca Gray said:

    What an interesting post. I have a Swedish friend at university, will be asking her about her midsummer when we go back in September.

    Lifecruiser: Yes, do that, especially if she did put flowers under her pillow or not *lol*

    June 22nd, 2006 at 10:49 am

  8. Froggie said:

    Wow! That sounds really neat. Sweden sounds like such a wonderful place… Thank you so much for sharing :-)

    Lifecruiser: Yes, it really is - in the summertime :-)

    June 22nd, 2006 at 6:18 pm

  9. Mandy said:

    That dinner sounds divine. I was about to say I’m on my way but then I read you’re going away lol. Pity that hehe

    I love reading about traditions in various countries.


    Lifecruiser: Yes, that is a pity, otherwise we would of course have invited you all to the festivities :-) I like to read about almost everything about other countries culture, traditions, habits. Very interesting!

    June 22nd, 2006 at 9:59 pm

  10. Elle said:

    5 weeks vacation! I want to live there!

    Have a great TT
    Elle x

    Lifecruiser: Yes, I know, maybe that is one of the reasons why Swedes having problem to move abroad…. *lol*

    June 22nd, 2006 at 11:47 pm

  11. Napfisk said:

    Ah, Swedish maidens with garlands in their hair! Light all night! Wonderful food! Stop before I go insane.

    I’ll just watch my favourite children’s film then, Dunderklumpen. It’s Swedish, so you might know it. It’s set during Midsomernight.

    Lifecruiser: Well, you just missed the oppertunity to meet your Swedish future wife there! *lol* And yes, of course we remember Dunderklumpen, every one does over here I think. Wonderful for children. And you *s*

    June 23rd, 2006 at 1:44 am

  12. colleen said:

    Yesterday was the first day of summer here. I just came in from picking blueberries. I had to climb under the nettting and there was a firefly in there with me. Between the blueberries and fireflies, I knew it was summer!

    My 13 are swimming laps.

    Lifecruiser: That sounds nice. I think, maybe not the firefly if it was to close up… We saw fireflies for the first time in November when we were in Paraguay, it was wonderful in the evenings! Very romantic too…

    June 23rd, 2006 at 4:11 am

  13. Chi said:

    How lovely & fun the day must be & I found this to be very interesting & enjoyable to read.

    I am no longer participating in this meme but I do have your link listed on my sidebar so I can visit often. *s*

    Lifecruiser: Thanks Chi, that was nice words. Sorry you’re not participating any longer, but I can understand you at the same time. We’ll put you on our linklist too and come and visit you anyway! So we’ll C U L8er.

    June 23rd, 2006 at 2:41 pm

  14. sisiggy said:

    Welcome home, Lifecruisers…I’m afraid to ask about the trip, given you’re track record. But at least you come how to a festival!

    Lifecruiser: Thanks Sisiggy. We’ll write about the trip as soon as we have some peace and quiet here, to give you something in advance I can at least say that this time I didn’t get sick during the trip, wooohooo! *lol*

    June 23rd, 2006 at 3:23 pm

  15. PixiePincessMom said:

    Now that sounds neat. Do a lot of tourists show up for this festival?

    Lifecruiser: It certainly coming some tourists, but I have no idea how many, because most of the Swedes are celebrating it on the countryside with just family and/or friends, so there is no tourist there. But I’ve been to Skansens Midsummer celebration one year and there were a lot of tourists. Skansen is a major touristattraction and is the oldest open-air museum in the world and it’s also a zoo. It is located on the island of Djurgården, a royal park near the centre of Stockholm. They also have a miniature historical Sweden reflected both in the buildings and their surroundings – from the Skåne farmstead in the south to the Sami camp in the north.

    June 23rd, 2006 at 4:19 pm

  16. tnchick said:

    Happy mid-summer to you. I am with Mandy, it’s interesting to learn of new traditions!

    Lifecruiser: Yes, I always love that too. That’s the bog advantage with different countries - you can explore so much. Wouldn’t be any fun if it were the same all over the world…

    June 23rd, 2006 at 10:00 pm

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