Midsommar or the summer solstice is an annual – and a legendary – celebration that takes place across Sweden in the very middle of summer. This is one of Sweden’s most beloved holidays, as it welcomes the summertime and is famous world-wide for its unique customs, which we will explore further today. If you don’t happen to be around for the biggest party of the year, you can put it together on your own by including the following must-haves for any Midsommar celebration:
Get a Maypole and your groove on!
One of the most recognisable symbols of Midsommar is definitely the Maypole: a wooden pole around 6 meters tall, often with two large hoops on top, covered in various greenery and flower wreaths. Some say that it symbolizes fertility, while other sources claim that, in the olden days, it represented a link between the heavens, our mortal realm and the underworld. Nowadays, it is usually placed in the central part of a town or village and is used as a meeting point for the celebrations, as well as very unique dances that everyone takes part in!
Channel Your Inner Frog 🐸
Not the one from ‘the Princess and the Frog’ – we just mean the frog dance! There can be no Midsommar without the well-known dance that basically means hopping around on all fours around the Maypole, like a frog, while singing Små grodorna (Small Frogs): a classic tune known by every Swede aged 1 to 101! There’s no skipping it!
Of course, Midsommar has important social value, as many families and friend groups reunite during the festivities. However, what also motivates many to participate in the celebration is the never-ending rounds of food and drink. Some of the more traditional dishes you’re bound to find are: herring in every shape imaginable (fermented, smoked, pickled, you name it!), boiled salmon, meatballs, potatoes, potato dumplings… We’re starving already.
Care for a glass of- ?
No discussion needed: scrumptious food needs to be accompanied by – lots of drinks. Don’t get us wrong, moderation in all things is a lovely philosophy to go by in life. However, Midsommar is a once-a-year type of celebration and should be marked as such, so there’s rarely any holding back on classics such as beer and nubbe (also known as snaps or schnapps), which often serves as fuel for all the singing and dancing that is central to the celebration!
Floral is in Style
Lastly, every party needs a proper theme – naturally, summer instantly sparks images of ripe fruit and flowers in full bloom, the very peak of the season. This is the reason why the Maypole is often fully covered in flowers and why many choose to decorate their hair or clothes with flowers of all kinds, so don’t forget to include these in your celebration as well!
Midsommar is a wonderful way for everyone to come together, unwind and prepare for the seasons ahead. As the celebrations are soon to begin, we wish everyone a lovely time and, in case this post has inspired you to visit Sweden, we can always help you organise the perfect trip for you and your team and experience Midsommar first-hand. Trust us on this one – no one parties like the Swedes.
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