19 June 2008

Midsommar - Midsummer

We may not have polar bears walking the streets in Sweden but it`s a dark and cold country most of the year anyway. That’s why we people up north cherish the summer light so much that a celebration is held an entire weekend - the midsummer festivities. Some of you might say that the midsummer festivities has nothing to do with the light but is only an excuse for getting seriously drunk on aquavit, singing obscure songs and eating herring with sour crème and chive. I for myself go with the light theory. On midsummer night’s eve (or thereabout) is the summer solstice and the sun is up longer than any other day. And that’s worth celebrating. You can stay up all night and the sky only goes a brilliant dark, dark blue but never pitch black. That is if you don’t live in the northern parts because there the sun doesn’t set at all.

On midsummer you have a may pole decorated with flowers and you dance around it! It looks a bit like cannibals dancing around the pot! Japanese tourists with cameras usually think we have gone completely bonkers. We do eat herring with sour crème and chive and you drink aquavit and sing obscure songs. The drinking and singing part probably goes back to the Vikings or something but we were more in to chewing poisonous mushrooms back then. With the eating, drinking and dancing completed the ladies go out flower picking. You are not allowed to talk while picking and you must pick seven different flowers. Then you put the flowers under your pillow and you will dream about the man becoming your husband. My husband usually makes fun of me saying “what’s the point of picking flowers since you already have the man of your dreams” but who knows I just might dream about Sean Connery and who wants to miss out on that?

May pole - not ours though

Served directly from the freezer

It doesn`t get any darker than this

Flowers for the wreaths

Youngest daughter wearing the finished result

For me Midsummer is getting up early in the morning to pick flowers for the wreaths and the maypole and to lay a beautiful table with flowers, a linen tablecloth and lots of candle lights. To sit down with family and friends and enjoying each others company until the wee hours of the morning. And yes I drink the occasional aquavit and yes I sing an obscure song or two but most of all I enjoy the company of my loved ones!

So all of you friends out there, Swedes or not I hope you have a lovely midsummer week end!

PS Did I tell you it almost always rains on Midsummer? But in my dreams and memories the sun always shines!


Anna said...

Glad misdommar själv!
Jag TROR att loppisen är första helgen i juli - jag ska kolla upp det! Vilken fin krans - vi ska iväg och plocka blommor nu!

Betty Jo said...

Happy Midsommar! What a fun celebration. Your daughter is such a beauty, especially with the lovely flowers. Something I forgot to tell you that you might find interesting. I just sent my portfolio into a Scandinavian scrapbook site. I so hope they choose me as a designer, because I love their style and would love to work along side the talented women as well as learn from them. Applications are being accepted through June 26, so I won't know anything until after that date. I will let you know what happens, and of course blog about it if I should be chosen. xoxo

Homeleightigger said...

Very Happy Midsummer Jeanette - I will raise my glass to you over the weekend (every day perhaps - and get sloshed!) Val

LiLi M. said...

It's so nice to read about your customs! I do think you are right to take no risk and put the flowers under your pillow again and again, as you said; you'll never know! Your daughter looks so lovely with that wreath, so innocent and pure. Take a few aquavits on your health and your families' health and enjoy a lovely midsummer feast!