Posts tagged “Midsummer

Midsummer

Swedish midsummer is all about dancing around the maypole to live music.

This year, we arrived at the local farm a little too late —

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We could hear music in the distance;

But when we arrived at the maypole —

Slender against the cloudy sky —

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The musicians were already putting away

Their instruments for the day.

Musician.jpg

We stopped to admire each ring of the maypole

Bedecked in flowers (woven there by hand).

The day did not go as planned,

But it’s how you roll with life that counts.

Flowers.jpg

For more midsummer stories, please visit: Our World.


Midsummer joy

Midsummer’s Eve is the second most important

Celebration in Sweden after Christmas.

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It’s a time for dancing

Around the midsummer maypole

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With flowers in your hair

No matter whether you are male, female or child.

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The folk dancers

Wear their traditional costumes —

(They start them off young…)

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As do the musicians:

It’s hard work though!

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And everyone has fun

No matter colour, age or belief system.

And that’s what is important in the world:

Love and tolerance.

Woman.jpg

For more celebrations, please visit: Our World.


Midsummer beauty

Midsummer is that most Swedish of Swedish traditions:

A wonderful time spent in red cottages with outdoor loos;

Red house

Where you can take shots of yourself

Next to iconic old red buildings;

Self-portrait

And where you dance around the midsummer pole

Wearing flowers and a silly smile.

Midsummer pole copy

This year was a bit of a wash-out for us —

But the rain did create a canvas of abstract beauty.

Abstract rain

For more summery shots, please visit: Our World.


Of flowers and frogs

Friday was the summer solstice – the longest day of the year —

And also Midsummer’s Eve: a major holiday here in Sweden.

Flower weaving

It’s a time for weaving flowers around the maypole

And then lifting it up into place as a team effort.

Up it goes

Midsummer is an ancient pagan tradition —

And, as you can see, it’s a celebration of fertility

And light and the burst of growth that occurs during the short Swedish summer.

Fertility

It’s a time for having fun and dancing around the maypole

Like a little frog in time-honoured tradition —

(Yes, this is me being silly…)

Joy

Although for some, a short nap in the green summer grass

Is more than welcome.

Napping

For more traditions, please visit: Our World.


Midsummer roses

Midsummer is one of the biggest holidays in Sweden. It’s all about eating and dancing around the maypole. Usually in the rain.

One year, I’m going to photograph it all… But this year, we spent so long at the pool before lunch that we just didn’t have the energy to go down to the local celebrations.

We did celebrate the light, the warmth and the sun in our own way.

Life may not always be a dance on roses, but that doesn’t stop you from dancing in a shower of rose petals.

It’s all about your attitude.

You can complain that roses have thorns.

Or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.

For more midsummer (or midwinter) beauty, please visit: Our World.


Midsummer sun

It’s Midsummer — or the summer solstice —

When we celebrate the longest day and shortest night.

The sun still shines strongly at 10.30 at night,

Painting the sky with wisps of light

And sending coloured clouds of happiness and peace our way.

For more summer (or winter) skies, please visit: Skywatch.


Midsummer

Midsummer has been and gone, but for us, summer is only just starting.

Long days of spontaneous joys and laziness lie ahead.

And, best of all, the dazzling delights of late evening sunsets

Lie ready to unfurl their colours

And make us gasp in wonder.

For more spectacular skies, please visit: Skywatch.


The magic of midsummer

Celebrating the miracle of light – after so many months of winter darkness – culminates in the biggest festival of all: midsummer.

This is a time of dancing around the maypole dressed in traditional costumes, accompanied by live fiddle music and song.

Although the tradition of dressing a pole in flowers and leaves came from Germany about 700 years ago, the idea of celebrating summer goes back much further than that. Summer is so short and sweet that it has to be enjoyed to the fullest!

As always, these traditions are about family, friends and food. Pickled herring (if you like that sort of thing), fresh new potatoes and, of course, strawberries: glowing red jewels that taste of sunshine.

Midsummer falls on the Friday just after the summer solstice – the longest day of the year. The white nights, or long summer evenings, are gloriously light – making sleeping difficult – and the sun is still blazing long into the night and then again in the very  early morning.

10.30 at night… a pastel pink midsummer sky graces the silhouette of the old church across the lake.

I’ll sleep again come winter.. but right now, I have to enjoy the light!

For more slices of global life, please visit: My World.


Midsummer Magic

If you ask a Swede what their favourite holiday is, they would probably find it hard to choose between Christmas Eve and Midsummer’s Eve. Midsummer is a magical time in Sweden – at least, that’s how most people imagine it to be. The sun is shining, they escape to their summer cottages and have a wonderful time dancing around a maypole with their families.

OK… so it very often rains, too much alcohol and herring are consumed, and old family wars might break out… Yet it is still a magical holiday.

The tradition of Midsummer celebrations goes back to pre-Christian times as a way of welcoming in the summer and celebrating fertility. Just look at the maypole and you’ll see what I mean.

midsommarPhoto: www.imagebank.se Fredrik Sweger, Lou B/Fredrik Sweger and the Swedish Institute

The maypoles are dressed with leaves and flowers and raised, ready for people to dance around, accompanied by live folk musicians. One of my favourites is the song ‘Little Frogs’ – where you dance around the pole pretending to be a frog (jumping on your haunches while making silly hand gestures).

After this, you eat herring (if you like it – I don’t), new potatoes and, of course, lots of strawberries and cream. The Swedes tend to consume lots of alcohol, so that schnapps drinking songs can be heard long into the night.

Late_night

10.30 at night

Midsummer’s Eve falls around the longest night of the year, so that it hardly every gets dark. The sun may dip down onto the horizon like a golden or bright orange eye, only to rise again fairly soon after.

What better way to celebrate balmy days and long light nights than with flowers, song and food?

For more stories, visit That’s My World!