Midsommer!

Yesterday it was time for the first Midsummer parties. Midsummer is Scandinavia’s most popular festival right along with Christmas. A traditional celebration of the summertime, Midsummer is the longest day of the year (June 21). In Sweden, Midsummer is even celebrated as a national holiday. Most Midsummer’s Eve celebrations take place on the Friday between June 19 and June 26. The celebration of the summer (cosmic) time is a very ancient practice, dating back to pre-Christian times.

Sweden //

Swedes are fairly well attuned to the rhythms of nature. At Midsummer, many begin their five-week annual holidays and everyone is in a hurry to get things done during the relatively short summer season. Midsummer Eve is celebrated in the countryside and everyone leaves town, everything closes and the city streets are deserted.

Midsummer is an occasion of large gatherings. People often begin the day by picking flowers and making Midsummer flowers bands to wear as crowns or to place on the maypole, which is a key component in the celebrations. The maypole is raised in an open spot and people dance traditional ring-dances, to the delight of the children and some of the adults…

Denmark //

The Danes celebrate this tradition with a bonfire as Midsummer Eve – or Sankt Hans as the Danes call it – unfolds. Next to the fire, Midsummer Eve is celebrated with picnics, BBQ’s and concerts. On this evening people gather across the country at bonfires to sing, listen to speeches and send the witches off to Bloksbjerg in Germany… Traditionally a wooden figure will be placed on the fire resembling a witch.

Happy Midsummer! // Thanks for your wonderful smile Yrsa!

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Pictures // Rosan Gompers

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