Thursday, June 20, 2013

Swedish Midsummer...

Midsummer is such an important event here in Sweden.  I've never really appreciate it, but year after year, I'm beginning to appreciate it more.

Just some things that one must remember about midsummer here.

* it's supposed to be the 2nd biggest event after Christmas

* always happen on a Friday in June

* it's a magical night for most Swedes and it is traditional

* apparently some still perform rituals to look into the future

* if you want to know who your future husband or wife is, you'll need to pluck 7 different types of flowers, jump over 7 round pole fences on your way home and put the flowers under your pillow.  Then you will dream of your future husband or wife ( if it didn't work, you probably plucked the wrong type of flowers! =p )

* you spend it with families or friends

* plucking and gathering of flowers of all sort and birch leaves. Best in the countryside where loads of wildflowers grow at this time of the year

* making garland/crown from the wildflowers and birch leaves and also for decorating the Maypole, which is made entirely of fallen branches tied into a cross, decorated with wildflowers and birch leaves and then raising the Maypole

* good excused to get shitfaced/drunk/pissed!

* meal always consist of fresh/new potatoes (literary shitloads of potatoes!!!), fish such as salmon and sill ( all different flavour of sill!), Västerbotten cheese pie (sooo orgasmic!!), etc

* dessert is always loads of strawberries - fresh, with ice cream, with cream, strawberry cakes, fresh fresh strawberries!

* snapps! (Shots) are a popular alcoholic drink. Of course you could have beer, wine, any alcohol really

* dancing and singing... With wildflower garlands/crowns around our hair..

* ... Especially around the Maypole, which looks suspiciously like a male phallus.. ( with two hanging sacks..) . Imagine shitfaced, singing, dancing round and round a phallus, with a pair of 'balls' swinging lazily in the breeze

* after all the drinking, eating, singing and dancing, we'll end it all with some Swedish games ( we played some last year and the winning team even got a prize!  I can't remembered what games they were as things were pretty hazy by that time)

* midsummer is an extremely popular day to get married

* everyone gets drunk!! So.. Get drinking!!

* the longest day in the year - 24 hours daylight!

These are a few things I could remember at the top of my head at 4 something in the morning.

Oh yeah, did you know I was proposed to on midsummer back in 2010?! I didn't really understand the significance of it all at that time. Sure is a bitch to remember what date it was as midsummer changes every year! =)

Anyhow we did loads of traditional things as stated above last year in the archipelago.  This year we are off with a few friends in the country at one of our friend's family's sommarstuga (summer house). Not sure if we'll be making any maypoles or garlands but rest assured there'll definitely be a feast!!!

I'll leave you a picture of the burning sky at 4am snapped in the countryside, Skanör..

Until next time,
Xx