One of my favorite traditions to relive is the Swedish Midsommer (Mid summer) celebration. It marks the longest day of the year and as the majority of the year in Sweden is covered in darkness and cold, it really is a time to celebrate.
In Utah there is a Swedish Heritage Society where natives living here and also others who have ties to Sweden come together each year to celebrate these traditions.
First, the preparations are made for the maypole that is the focus of the celebration. It is decorated by everyone.
Now it’s time for everyone to help carry the maypole around while traditional songs are played by the orchestra.
Then it’s hoisted up in the center of the area where people link arms and dance around the maypole singing traditional songs.
There were other activities including a Swedish store that had many items such as cheese, caviar, wienerbröd, Swedish chocolate and other items from the area. There was also a catered dinner for those wishing to purchase that included meatballs, mashed potatoes, jansons frestelse, and many other items.
We were fortunate to have gorgeous weather while friends in Sweden reported that it was still snowing in Stockholm – a depressing reality after having waited so long for summer to come. This coupled with the fact that Sweden hadn’t qualified for the World Cup makes for a pretty grim summer.
If you’ve never had the chance to experience a Swedish summer celebration, I encourage you to see if there are local Swedish societies near you or if you have the time, take a trip to Sweden during the summer – you’ll be glad that you did.