Midsummer. Coming up this weekend is one of the most important holidays for a Swede. This Swedish tradition originates before Christianity. It is THE time when Swedes get a chance to celebrate the lightest day of the year (solstice). Sweden is dark for months at a time in this very far north located country so it is no wonder that there is a serious need to celebrate the light days. Summer time is the opposite, it is light for 21 hours/day. (At 3 o’clock in the morning you will find people biking (home from the bars that stay open all night in full day light!). Light needs to be celebrated!
The entire nation celebrates. Midsummer pole raising, lots of dancing & singing, eating & drinking and homemade flower wreaths on everything. Everyone is on the schedule.
Because Midsummer was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strongest, it was considered a good night to perform rituals. An old Swedish tradition is that unmarried girls, before going to bed midsummer’s eve, should pick seven kinds of flowers and jump over seven round-pole fences (!) and then sleep with the flowers under her pillow. During the night she will dream about the boy she will be married to. (I did that many times myself as a young girl, minus the fence jumping!)
So, Happy Midsummer/Glad Midsommar to all fellow Swedes and Swedish loving friends!