When the Sun Doesn’t Go Down…
Party till the sun goes down, right? Imagine if the sun never went down. That is exactly what happens during the celebration of the summer solstice in Stockholm. The sun never goes down, so the party keeps going. Since as early as the 1500s, Swedes have been celebrating the summer solstice with amazing festivals. The summer solstice marks the start of summer and the season of fertility. A holiday, as some would say, dedicated to eating, dancing, and bizarre rituals. At the center of the craziness is the Midsummer (Midsommar) festival, which is a huge celebration for the whole country. This year it will be held on June 24th. The festival is held in different places throughout Sweden, one of the biggest being at Skansen, the open air museum of Stockholm. The city gets cleared out, as everyone travels to the countryside to celebrate the welcoming of summer. One of the most exciting times of the year in Sweden, but there is a lot to learn about the festival before you go!
Before the festivities begin, you want to make sure to create your own Midsummer garland (sommarkrans), also known to some as a flower crown. It is tradition to wear one on your head to symbolize the start of the season of fertility. Maybe you will celebrate with your family or maybe your friends, either way you need to go prepared. You will want to make sure you have bug spray and a raincoat with you. Depending on where you are spending your Midsummer, you would want to arrive between 12 and 1 pm. At 1 pm will be when lunch begins. Sweden natives will tell you that their holiday meals are very repetitive, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love it! Hopefully you like seafood, because that is the main ingredient in this holiday lunch. Swedish Sill (pickled Herring), new potatoes, and a lot of shrimp accompanied by the Swedish liquor, nubbe. A delicious lunch to get you ready to start the festivities of the rest of the day.
The games begin with the raising of the maypole (midsommarstång). Traditional dances around the maypole may look very funny to those watching, but they are very fun for the swedes to perform. One of the most common dances, “The Little Frogs”, is done to finish the ritual of raising the maypole. The dance mostly consists of everyone channeling their inner frog and hopping their way around the pole. Many other traditional dances and games are held between lunch and dinner. Kubb, is an ancient lawn game that has adapted over the many years. People all over the world now play this game at different parties and beach outings. It is a game of throwing wooden batons at the other teams wooden blocks, in hopes to knock them over faster and get to the king. It may sounds like a strange game, and there are a lot more rules, but it is loads of fun!
Dinner is very similar to lunch. You’ll eat more fish, potatoes, and shrimp. With the addition of some meatballs and sausage. The dessert will be a delicious strawberry cake. From here you take control of the rest of your night. Stay up with your friends throughout the endless sunlight, or settle in for a nice night with the family. Whichever you choose, make sure to pick seven different flowers before bed. An old tale tells you to put them under your pillow on this one night, and you’ll dream of the one you’re going to marry.
This holiday is very special to the Swedish culture, and has been for many years. Dive into the culture and experience an amazing Summer Solstice in Stockholm. One of beautiful boats located in Stockholm, will be the perfect way to get around the islands during the amazing time in Sweden. It will be the perfect way to combine the relaxation of vacation with the excitement of this incredible holiday!
To book your Stockholm vacation this summer call our office at 857-330-4330 or visit: www.dreamyachtcharter.com/contact/