A very swedish tradition open to all

Midsummer in Sweden is a major summer holiday celebrated on the Friday and Saturday closest to the summer solstice, when the day is the longest and the night is the shortest of the entire year. Many people are free from work on both days. It is a celebration that honors light and nature.

The Maypole

The traditional celebration includes a maypole, also called a midsummer pole, which is decorated with flowers and leaves. The maypole is raised around midday on Friday on a large open grassy area or meadow, and then people sing traditional songs and dance in circles around the flower-adorned pole. It is also common to have classic games and competitions as part of the celebration, often with live music for the folk dances.

Flower Crowns

Both children and adults make flower crowns to wear in their hair. There are many wildflowers in June, and in Sweden, the right of public access (allemansrätten) allows anyone to pick flowers growing in the forests and meadows. You can find simple methods for making crowns with a quick Google search.

Midsummer Food

Traditional food often includes fresh potatoes, pickled herring, sour cream, and fresh herbs such as chives and dill. Nowadays, grilled food is also very common. Snaps (a type of shot) is also frequently enjoyed, often accompanied by traditional drinking songs. For dessert, strawberries with cream or ice cream are almost always served.

Join in dressing the pole, dancing, and dinging!

The dance around the maypole is a celebration that everyone is invited to! If you have friends and family visiting, or if you want to spend some time with other summer-dressed Swedes, this is a genuine Swedish experience you should not miss! Celebrations are usually held in places like city parks or residential areas, so check out local advertisements in the days leading up to the event or take a walk around midday on Friday, and you will likely find a celebration near you!