Midsommar dag: celebrating the long days of summer

June 22, 2013

in Living in Sweden,Stockholm,Stockholm holidays,Sweden,Swedish traditions


Toasting the start of the midsummer party at Nici and Roger's with a glass of champagne.


Zanne putting a midsommarkrans or wreath on Tone.


Flower girls Caroline, Tone, me and Nici.

As we came home from the midsummer party last night–or should I say this morning–at 3 a.m., the sun was up and the water on Lake Mälaren was completely calm. We passed a fox and later a moose. The bus back into town was full of sleepy partygoers smelling of alcohol and with most of the women wearing midsommarkrans or wreaths on their heads. Two 20-somethings sang Dancing Queen while the guy with them did his best to ignore them. The beautiful blonde in front of us kept nodding off, bumping her head on the seat in front of her and waking up and then promptly passing back out again.

After the bus we switched to a taxi and passed countless people walking, cycling, taking photos from the bridge in groups and pairs, happy to see the beautiful Scandinavian light on the first day of summer. The streets were empty of cars, but plenty of taxis were out. Stockholm was quietly busy.


Chilled aquavit from Norway. Ready for toasting.


Jars of Swedish herring.

We had a gorgeous day at Nici and Roger’s house. All the traditional midsummer food–herring, boiled potatoes, Västerbotten cheese and knäckebröd–were consumed with generous portions of snaps, beer and drinking songs. Since we were an international group of Swedes, Germans, Norwegians, Americans and an Australian, we had each person share a drinking song from their homeland, as well as some kind of food or drink. In addition to the Swedish favorites for lunch, we had German sausages and bread, American-style deviled eggs and poppyseed muffins, Australian rissoles and pavlova for dinner. We played the Swedish lawn game kubb and did the traditional singing and frog dancing around the maypole.


Playing kubb, the Viking lawn game.


Nici trying an Austrian game of hitting the nail on the head.


Robert hanging around the maypole.

Did we have fun? Oh yeah. And after leaving home at 1 in the afternoon and getting home just after 3 a.m, I was also pretty tired. But so happy to be part of another Swedish midsummer party.


Multi-talented Aron, Thomas and Roger bbq and dance at the same time.


The after-dinner conversation.


The long sunset of Scandinavia on midsommar.

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Celebrating the start of summer: The party goes on in spite of the weather | 59 North
June 22, 2014 at 14:17


1 James June 23, 2013 at 11:14

Looks like you’re having fantastic weather. Here in Sydney, it’s the winter solstice, I haven’t seen blue sky since Friday, and we’re expecting another week of cold, wet weather. Sigh. Hope you’re both well.

2 Sandra June 23, 2013 at 11:30

Hi James, Great to hear from you. If it helps, it’s gray and chilly now and was all day yesterday as well. We still haven’t seen temperatures higher than 23 degrees this spring and now summer!

3 Roger June 24, 2013 at 08:59

23 is perfect !! 🙂

4 christian June 25, 2013 at 10:20

Sounds like a wonderful day! Though I must say I’m curious what the Australian drinking song was – I don’t think I know any!

5 Sue June 27, 2013 at 15:39

I had the same question as Christian – what drinking song did Robert sing? Sounds like you are having an amazing time, that amazing light and the the midsummer fun is making me think James and I should come back sometime soon

6 Sandra June 27, 2013 at 21:46

OK Roger, I agree that 23 is perfect…but for a SPRING day. For summer, it needs to be 25-plus. I need warmer weather!

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