Midsommar – one of the most famous and treasured Swedish traditions – holds a special place in the hearts of Swedes. It marks the summer solstice and the beginning of long, warm days after a dark, unforgiving winter. For those who want to experience the magic of this vibrant Swedish holiday, here is the ultimate guide to celebrating an authentic Midsommar in Sweden.
“Midsommar in Sweden – a festival of love, light, and unity, celebrating the very essence of community and the joy of endless summer days.”
Mark your calendar
Midsommar is typically celebrated on the third Friday of June, with festivities continuing into the weekend. However, dates may vary in different parts of the country. It is advisable to check local calendars and plan ahead, as many businesses and attractions may be closed during the celebrations.
“Embrace the magic of Midsommar, where communities come alive, hearts are warmed, and the spirit of summer shines brightest.”
Choose the right location
Midsommar celebrations can be found all over Sweden, from bustling cities to serene countryside villages. Seek out small towns where locals enthusiastically take part in the festivities. Some popular locations include Dalarna, Skansen, and Småland, which offer traditional Swedish settings and the chance to mingle with locals.
Set the scene with Midsommarstång
A central element of Midsommar celebrations is the Midsommarstång, or Maypole. This beautifully decorated pole is covered in greenery, flowers, and ribbons, and serves as the focal point for the day’s events. In many communities, all members participate in preparing the Midsommarstång, adding to its significance.
“Dancing around the Midsommarstång – where laughter, tradition, and the spirit of the summer solstice intertwine in perfect harmony.”
Dress the part
Wearing traditional Swedish folk costumes, or “folkdräkt,” is common on this occasion, although not obligatory. Many people, especially women, will wear a wreath of fresh flowers in their hair called “krans,” adding to the enchanting atmosphere.
Master the art of Smörgåsbord
One of the highlights of Midsommar is the delicious feast shared among family and friends. A traditional Swedish smörgåsbord includes a variety of dishes featuring herring, cured salmon or “gravlax,” potatoes with dill, crispbread, cheese, strawberries, and more. Don’t forget to accompany your meal with cold beer, snaps (Swedish spiced liquor), and spirited toasts to Midsommar.
Perform the Midsommar dances
After the sumptuous meal, gather around the Midsommarstång for the iconic Midsommar dances. Laughter fills the air as both children and adults join in traditional dances and frolic around the pole, a fun spectacle you don’t want to miss.
“Midsommar is a symphony of colors, flavors, and traditions, marking the arrival of the season of light and endless possibilities.”
Experience Swedish traditional games
Midsommar festivities also include traditional games like potato sack races, tug-of-war, and “kubb” – a popular lawn game. Join in the fun and experience genuine Swedish camaraderie.
Revel in the Midsommar magic
As the day turns into evening, find a comfortable spot to bask in the environs of the Swedish countryside. Enjoy a lakeside bonfire, traditional fiddle music, or simply take in the enchanting twilight that lasts until the early hours of the morning.
Midsommar in Sweden is a cherished, time-honored celebration full of lively traditions, feasting, and joyous festivities. Use this guide as your starting point, and immerse yourself in the magic of a true Swedish Midsommar.
Last Updated on April 28, 2023