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Midsummer Madness Scandinavia Style

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Nowhere on earth celebrates Midsummer Day quite like Scandinavia. Held over three days, it’s the biggest national holiday outside Christmas. Bright clear skies and long hours of daylight make it the perfect time for this outdoor cultural celebration.

 

Lunch in the garden
Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se

 

Family, friends and whole neighborhoods gather in gardens, parks and on fjord beaches to celebrate the summer solstice. It’s an unforgettable time to visit and participate in the extraordinary festivities. The largest Midsummer celebration in the world is held in Sammilsdal, Central Sweden, where 20,000 people are drawn to the Midsummer pole covered in greenery, the church, parade and the decorated boats bobbing on Siljan Lake.

 

Per Bifrost/imagebank.sweden.se

On Midsummer’s Day, traditional folk costumes and floral crowns are worn with pride by men and women. Picnic tables are piled high with a feast of pickled herrings, smoked fish, gravlax, salads, strawberries and flavorsome new potatoes dressed with sour cream and dill.

Music ensures the gathering goes with a swing, eventually erupting in folk dances such as the Små grodorna “Little Frogs’ Dance” when everyone, young and old, bends their knees and hops to the music. It all adds to the merriment. At midnight, many revelers go skinny dipping in the lake and rolling on the dewy grass!

 

Girl with flower crown
Per Bifrost/imagebank.sweden.se

While each Scandinavian country shares similar Midsummer traditions, they each have their own folklore and cultural beliefs.

In Sweden, the celebration focuses on the renewal of life, fertility and love. Young girls pick seven wild flowers and tuck  them under their pillow to dream of their future spouse. Nine months after Midsummer there’s a marked uptick in births too!

 

Women picking flowers
Vilhelm Stokstad/imagebank.sweden.se

 

In Denmark, Midsummer celebrations are dominated by bonfires and singing patriotic songs, while in Iceland even the most well adjusted adults firmly believe in elves. On Midsummer Night, they believe that if you sit at a crossroad, elves will attempt to seduce you, and woe betide if you fall for their charms! Icelanders also believe that cows can speak and seals take on human form on that special night.

 

So where will you find yourself on Midsummer’s Eve? 

Start making plans for Midsummer 2021 with Finest Journeys!

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By: Admin on June 16, 2020    No Comments

 

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