June: Schools are out and nature has burst into life. It seems like the sun never sets. In fact, in the north of Sweden it doesn’t, and in the south only for an hour or two. This calls for celebration! Let’s round up friends and family for the most Swedish of our traditions: Midsummer.
Ever jumped around like a frog, slurped on some crawfish? Swedes have all done it. Come to Sweden, and you’ll do it too. This illustration gives you a snapshot of the Swedish year through the traditions of Midsummer, the crawfish party, the surströmming premiere, Lucia, Christmas and Easter — frog jumping around the Midsummer pole and crawfish slurping included.
The summer solstice is the reason why we celebrate Midsummer. Ever since pagan times, Swedes have been eager to feast through the longest day of the year, on or around June 21. Since the 1950s we have, for practical reasons, celebrated Midsummer on Midsummer Eve, which is always on a Friday between June 19 and June 25.
As Sweden bursts into life again after the winter and the landscape is transformed into a colorful palate, Swedes kick back and enjoy Midsummer. Follow our five simple steps to create your own, very Swedish Midsummer party.
Summer in Sweden is short. It starts showing its face in May and explodes into life in June. The summer has to hurry to get things done before the nights turn cold in September and everything stops growing. At Midsummer, the Swedish summer is a lush green and bursting with chlorophyll, and the nights are scarcely dark at all. In the north, the sun never sets.
Living as far north as Swedes do, it is little wonder that so many celebrations focus on light. And Midsummer, the longest day of the year, is no exception.
For most Swedes, Midsummer is a time to gather with friends and family in fields or by the sea to celebrate the sun, warmth and color of summer. Others, though, choose a different approach, skiing under the midnight sun above the Arctic Circle.