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Celebrate Midsummer in Sweden

Bask in the sunlight and get close to nature For Swede...
スウェーデンのミッドサマー

Bask in the sunlight and get close to nature

For Swedes, Midsummer Eve (the day before the summer solstice) is as important as Christmas and Easter.

The day with the longest daylight hours in the year.

In the northern part of the country, the sun never sets, a so-called ``white night,'' and even in the central part, night only lasts for a few hours.

Even in the southwest, where my Swedish husband's parents live, the sun rises at 4 a.m. and sunsets around 10:20 p.m., so you can enjoy the bright hours to your heart's content.

midsummer in sweden

On the other hand, winters in Sweden are very long.

In the north, the sun doesn't rise above the horizon and it feels like dawn all day long, so it's probably much darker. In Stockholm, the capital, the sun rises around 8:40. The sun sets at 3pm.

It's a daily cycle that is hard to imagine when you live in Japan.

When I try hard to imagine days when the sun is out for a short time, I feel like celebrating midsummer (summer solstice) in a big way when the long winter ends and the sun starts to show its face for a long time. I understand it really well.

midsummer in sweden
©️Per Bifrost/imagebank.sweden.se

Midsummer Eve with dancing flower crowns

Swedes respect living in harmony with nature.

I think Midsummer is the event that best represents that lifestyle.

On the summer solstice, when the long winter ends and the flowers begin to bloom and the greenery becomes vibrant, Swedes go to the forest in the morning to pick wildflowers and make flower crowns.

Then cover the symbolic tree pillar with birch leaves and decorate the tree with seasonal wildflowers and flower wreaths.

The wooden pillar is called a Majstång and is similar to the Maypole of other European countries.

midsummer in sweden
©️Werner Nystrand/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se

Have fun celebrating the arrival of summer even in the rain

Sweden's Midsummer event is famously held in Leksand in the Dalarna region.

People wearing traditional costumes sing and dance around the maiston.

The weather in the picture is rainy, but it seems to be a common story that Midsummer is rainy and cold.

However, Swedes still have fun celebrating the arrival of summer!

swedish strawberry
Plockade jordgubbar i sverige

Midsummer's fika is sweet strawberry

Midsummer's favorite Fika is freshly picked strawberries.

In Sweden, strawberries are harvested in the summer.

Since strawberries are not grown in greenhouses like in Japan, you can pick them in a large strawberry field. Once, we picked strawberries under a refreshing blue summer sky, and in about 30 minutes, the two of us picked about two buckets worth (about 2 kg)!

The strawberry field smells delicious all over, and it makes me feel very happy.

I suddenly thought that the fact that Swedes, who love sweet pastries, choose seasonal strawberries for their traditional midsummer dessert is a story that shows how they value nature.

Come to think of it, the reason that new potatoes are always included in Midsummer meals may be due to the custom of appreciating nature's blessings and valuing seasonal produce.

midsummer in sweden
©️Doris Beling/Folio/imagebank.sweden.se

Seven kinds of Flowers

There is another lovely story about Midsummer in Sweden.

Legend has it that if you pick seven types of flowers on Midsummer Eve and sleep with them next to your pillow, you will have dreams of your future spouse.

It makes me smile to think that the Swedish girl may have slept with flowers placed there last night.

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