Jun
24
2011

Happy Midsummer – Glad Midsommar!

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!

Images: No. 1 via  Slottsträdgårdsmästaren no. 2+ 3 unknown, no. 4 via Blomsterpassion, no. 5 unknown,  no. 6 via Story of Me
Written by Splendid Willow in: Holidays & Celebrations |

32 Comments

  • Anna-Malin says:

    glad midsommar till dig med!! och vilket fint inlägg!

    jag har tänkt på dig, vi får absolut höras av.
    det har hänt en del sen sist 😉

    stor kram
    anna-malin

  • Greet says:

    Happy Midsummer to you and your family my dear!!
    xx
    Greet

  • Franki Parde says:

    What IS that blue flower?? franki

  • Charlotta says:

    Ah that horse!! :)

    Isn’t Midsummer the best. Such a light and happy celebration with such strong ties to everything that we value in our beloved Sweden. The divinity of that soft midsummer light. Skinny dips in the nearest lake. The games, laughter, and all the glorious Summery food. Yum yum yum!

    You know the tradition of the flowers also includes that the maiden had to be stark nude, and pick the flowers in total silence. Not speak a word to anyone – not even if they point out that she is in fact naked..! She has to pick them at the sun’s lowest point, cross 7 fields and climb 7 fences to pick her seven flowers that need to be 7 different types.
    I bet the ‘nude rule’ was set by some sick farmer in the olden days..! 😉

    No nude field climbing for me tonight. Instead a cup of tea whilst wearing most decent and very warm Winter PJs! ha!

    xx C

  • Delishhh says:

    Happy Midsummer!!! I love midsummer in Sweden – the food, the dancing around the pole, singing – the long nights – just awesome.

  • i have to concur about magic being the strongest in summer. it’s when i’m at my best and most creative.

    happy midsummer!

    michele

  • Happy midsummer! We loved learning about the traditions of midsummer. Such a special time of year. It must be a much anticipated event each year. In South Louisiana we are always looking for another reason to celebrate. So today we’ll toast to midsummer.

  • oh how beautiful! I miss summer so much. I’d love to be there. happy midsummer weekend, darling! xo

  • liza says:

    Happy, Happy Midsummer to you Monika! It sounds like so much fun. I love the pony with the wreath of flowers! Enjoy the holiday!!

  • Alena says:

    Happy Midsummer! Hope you have a wonderful time celebrating and I loved learning more about this Holiday. xoxo

  • Kicki Ek says:

    Happy Midsummer Monika with family!
    I miss you!
    Love
    Kicki

  • Happy midsummer to you Monika- I love this tradition…so pretty and the sentiment is lovely!

  • Happy Midsummer!
    Can I just say,
    that I LOVE
    that
    horse??
    xx Suzanne

  • Yay, midsummer! Makes me miss living in Helsinki SO much. Happy thoughts to you and yours in these days of late night sun :)

  • Style Attic says:

    Any reason to pick flowers and dream of true love deserves it’s own celebration day!! I love that :) Here’s to long days and sweet memories that can last forever XO, Kelly

  • Anci says:

    Ja, dina bilder visar hur en svensk midsommar är.
    Nu ska vi se om jag kan kommentera hos dig ?! :)

    Kramar, vännen

    Anci

  • Julie at BV says:

    Happy midsummer to you too dear Monika and Happy weekend!

  • awesome pics, Mon! Glad Midsommar to you. millions hugs to you

  • Happy Midsummer! Are you in Sweden soon?
    That adorable horse image is truly magic and inspiring me to get out
    with the kids to make crowns for our little 5 year old neighbor.
    Sending best wishes to you for a Wonderful Summer!
    xoo Edie

  • Livelikeyou says:

    Glad Midsommar!! Min bror hade 50 ars kalas pa midsommar afton sa vi missade Midsommar firandet. Men festen var valdigt svensk och rolig. Imorgon skriver jag om dig pa min blogg! kramar

  • Beautiful happy summery photos! We’re having a gloriously warm day here, there is such pleasure in a beautiful summer’s day!

    Glad Midsommar, sweet lady, and love to you!

    Meera xx

  • Love the flowers on the horse……. What delightful tradition… And the cake looks so inviting………I love the way you are sharing your heritage…… It makes me want to go……. Maryanne xo

  • Oh and I forgot the flower wreaths are charming……with the tradition of the flowers under the pillow…. I can just see you doing this when yhou were little…Maryanne

  • Hello Monika,

    A very Happy MidSummer to you and all Swedes, my friend! It is indeed such a beautiful time of year — I can see exactly why it is so dear and special to you… I had no idea about this tradition, but now, when I recall seeing images of these beautiful floral wreaths, I know what they were celebrating. The culture is fascinating to me.

    Wishing you a wonderful celebration and start to the new week*

    Love, Sarah

    p.s that horse is adorable!

  • Happy Midsummer to you Mon!
    I didn’t know that about Sweden’s light in the night. How fabulous…but my hubs wouldn’t be able to sleep!
    XO,
    Amy

  • Stacey says:

    Happy Midsummer to you Mon! This was an enlightening post for me since i learned about its tradition and meaning to you. Beautiful images too, esp. that horse:-) XX

  • lisaroy says:

    oh how fun!! Happy Midsummer to you!
    My dad is from Finland – I wonder if they celebrate anything similar… I’ll have to ask him. :)

  • And a very happy midsummer to you! This is so interesting and a testament to the “online classroom” that the blogworld is! I literally learn something new every day. Fascinating. Love how light needs to be celebrated, the images are beautiful and highlight the beauty of this special holiday.

  • So did you marry the man of your dreams?

  • I don’t know how I missed this post! I love the tradition. xo

  • joanny says:

    There is something to say about traditions,,, some of them are so lovely it is unimaginable to live without them , it adds order and beauty and joy to our every day life. Adore your photos, especially the pretty pony with the posy’s.

    Happy Summer Solstice.

    joanny

  • what a lovely tradition for the young girls, monika. and what great memories you must have of those times in your life. I was just hearing elsewhere about the long dark times Sweden has, and I was really unaware. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful traditions with us! love to you, donna

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