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For many people, summer means nice weather, more free time and long sultry evenings where the sun does not disappear behind the horizon until late. Take a cocktail or a fresh rosé, a bbq and a bowl full of summer fruit and you will get through the days.

Stonehenge?!

The start of summer, this year on Monday 21 June, has been something people have looked forward to for centuries and something that is celebrated exuberantly. For example, it will not be a coincidence that the rising sun on the first day of summer falls exactly on one of the main stones of Stonehenge.

At least as important as Christmas

Many people are therefore happy that summer is starting again, but in Sweden they really make it a party. Midsummer, Midsommar in Swedish, is at least as important as Christmas there. And that says something. It is celebrated every year on the Friday around June 24, so somewhere between June 19 and 25. Well I hear you thinking; Summer starts on June 21, right? Beats! However, the Christian church did not like such a pagan festival and so it was Christianized to the holiday in honor of the birth of John the Baptist on June 24, three days after the summer solstice.

Maypole and flowers under your pillow

The Swedes are flocking to their red cottages to be together. Midsommar is a celebration that you celebrate with family and close friends, full of traditions that have been around for centuries. One of those typical Swedish customs is setting up a maypole. A tall pole, often with hoops on it, which is decorated with birch branches, flowers and ribbons. In every village such a tree rises in a central place and on Midsommar day young and old dance around it.

In addition , people believed that plants have magical powers at midsummer. As a young girl, if you sleep with picked flowers under your pillow, you dream about the man you will marry. Romantic isn't it?

Celebrating Midsummer

Maybe you can't easily go on holiday to Sweden yet, luckily you can also celebrate Midsommar at home! What do you need?

  • Preferably a garden , but a balcony or spot on the campsite are also very good. As long as it's outside (and you can keep enough distance, if you're going to celebrate with more people than just your household)
  • Fresh wild flowers on the table, preferably in the Swedish colors yellow and blue
  • A dinner consisting of new potatoes with dill, pickled herring (Ikea!) and strawberries with whipped cream
  • Beer and schnapps

And it's not that complicated. Make it cozy with the above ingredients and certainly don't go to bed before the sun has completely set!

Only for brave dodos

If you still need some extra entertainment, because it really takes a while before it is completely dark, check out the Swedish / American horror film Midsommar on Netflix. Midsummer will never be the same…

If you want to get even more into the Scandinavian atmosphere, take a look at my webshop Studio Kvinna . There you will find a lot of cards, prints and home accessories to get you in the mood.

Source cover photo: Daiga Ellaby on Unsplash

Author - Femke Hesselink from Studio Kvinna
Femke - married, mother of Annika (2019), Hengelo - has a great love for Sweden and this is reflected in her fresh and cheerful illustration style, see also studiokvinna.nl . Femke knows a lot about the far north and is happy to share it with us. Which works extremely contagious!

De links op onze website kunnen gesponsord zijn, zie voor meer informatie onze gebruiksvoorwaarden.

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