Swedes celebrate the sun on Midsummer's
Eve and Day
By Jonas Tyden
July 9, 2008 | STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- The Swedish Midsummer
is seen by many as the start of the summer because a
lot of people go on vacations after the traditional
Midsummer is considered by many Swedes as one of the
most important holidays. It is celebrated between the
19-24 of June with Midsummer's Eve and Day on the Friday
and Saturday of that week.
The night of Midsummer's Eve is the brightest night
of the year in Sweden, and in many places the sun stays
up all night. Everyone celebrates the summer with customary
Swedish foods and traditions. Raw herring, fresh potatoes,
and schnapps are the most common foods that are eaten,
but a lot of children also eat meatballs.
One of the main traditions is raising the maypole.
It is a simple pole, decorated with flowers and twigs
and after it has been raised, families and particularly
children dance around it singing traditional Swedish
songs. Some people like to wear traditional folk clothing
when they dance around the maypole. The most famous
dance is called the "frog dance," and it is very bizarre
Usually I celebrate the holiday with my family at my
grandparents' country house, but this year I decided
to do something different. I decided to go on a boat
trip in the archipelago of Stockholm to the island Högböte.
At this island, the boat club "KMK" (Kungliga Motorbåts
klubben) were having a party and I decided to attend
it. KMK is translated into "the Kings Motor Boatclub."
Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf is a member of the club,
but unfortunately he didn't come to the island.
After the maypole and lunch was over everyone relaxed
until dinner that was served at 8 p.m.
There was a big barbecue and 200 people attended the
dinner. After the dinner a band came and played songs
for everyone until 2 a.m.
It was a nice Midsummer this year and the sun was
shining for most of the day, and all of Sweden celebrated
the solstice until late that night.
Midsummer in Sweden is always the same, but it is
a great time for everyone.