Midsummer Celebrations

Hasn’t the weather been glorious lately? I just love this time of year when Summer is around the corner and flowers are in full bloom. It reminds me of the good times I had when I was a child. Sweden is idyllic when temperatures rise and everyone walks barefoot in the sand on the beach. Midsummer celebrations are on their way…

Parks are packed with families, young children play and laugh and instead of throwing a dinner party at home, people get together over a picnic in a park or on the beach or in someone’s garden.

Midsummer is one of the biggest celebrations here. Aside from Christmas it is meticulously planned before the actual date. This year it’s on Friday 22nd of June followed by Midsummer’s day. The entire weekend is a party, people celebrate the second most important national festival all over the country dancing around the Midsummer pole, wearing flower wreaths on their heads, eating a smörgåsbord of delicacies such as assorted marinated fish, herrings and meatballs with new potatoes and alcoholic drinks to accompany the good food and celebrate the beautiful surroundings in Midsummer.

My family and I are no exception. As a child I used to count the days until Midsummer’s Eve. My parents invited family and friends to lunch and hired a dance band to entertain the guests. Late at night, we’d watch the sky turn dark and the sun go down. Evenings were balmy and everyone had such a good time singing along to familiar songs until well into the early hours of the morning. We’d dress up and pick flowers to wear in our hair in the early morning hours.

On Midsummer’s Day we would sleep late and have a hearty combined breakfast and lunch (brunch) prior to venturing out and meeting friends on a nearby beach where we’d continue to sing and dance followed by more celebrations in the evening. It was and still is a wonderful part of Summer and the entire year for me and I look just as much forward to it as I did when I grew up and lived at home.

Midsummer is frequently the setting in novels by Swedish authors. There are too many to mention here but one of them is Sweden’s most famous and prolific author, August Strindberg.

There is something very special about such a Swedish celebration. The Midsummer wrath and pole, people getting together to eat and sing and have fun. Dressing up in the national costume with flowers in the hair and enjoying strawberry tart with whipped cream for dessert. To me and many Swedes it represents Summer in its full glory. The very best Summer offering.

My gorgeous cat, Teddy, loves to spend time on our balcony watching the clear blue sky and birds fly by. The 6th of June is Sweden’s National Day yet it’s not as much celebrated as Midsummer despite also being the time of year when schools end for the Summer Holiday and everyone’s preparing to go away, either into the countryside or abroad.

I wish all of you the best Summer ever. Please don’t forget to bring a book or two wherever you plan to be. My current novels are available on Amazon and the perfect opportunity to engage with while soaking up the sun on a beach or relaxing in a park.

Pure Bliss.

Wishing all of you a lovely relaxing time in the sun.
Hélene xx

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