21 June 2009


Midsummer is an important thing in Sweden!
So important in fact that it doesn't always coincide exactly with the solstice, but always on the Saturday closest to the solstice, which causes the Swedes to be off on the Friday (for midsummer's eve) and thereby getting a small vacation. The day of midsummer's eve is in fact also the day when the event is really taking place, and as such midsummer in Sweden was on the 19th this year.

Readers of Astrid Lindgren should know that midsummer is celebrated by decorating a midsummer's pole with leaves and flowers and then dance around it - girls preferably with a crown of leaves in their hair - but our experience in Vasa Park suggests that the modern version consists primarily of watching a show by folk dancers in traditional garments and a few dances for all - although mostly for the kids (including a quite lively dance to a song about a frog that doesn't have ears nor tail) - around the midsummer's pole. The adult midsummer activities seem then to consist of enjoying the contents of the picnic basket which should of course contain herrings and snaps. Tue did notice that snaps in handy picnic sized bottles were given a prominent placement this past week in Systembolaget (the national Swedish alcohol monopoly)..

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