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Saturday, 26 June 2010

Swedish Midsummer Eve Celebration






Midsummer, celebrated on the Friday and Saturday that fall between June 19th and June 25th is probably the most uniquely Swedish of all our holidays. The main celebrations take place on the Friday, Midsummer Eve and traditionally include raising and dancing around a huge maypole (majstång), nowadays more commonly called midsummer-pole (midsommarstång), decorated with leaves and flowers.  Folk musicians and dancers often wear traditional costumes.

I went to the midsummer celebration in our museum park this afternoon in the hope of getting some pictures of a folk dance performance. It turned out to be so crowded I could not get close enough for that. But the photos will give you an idea of the popularity of the celebration.

You may notice some girls and women wearing flower wreaths on their heads. That is one midsummer tradition. Another is to pick seven or nine different wild flowers and put them under your pillow at night. Then in your dream you are supposed to see your future spouse. Traditionally, Midsummer was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strong, so a good night to perform rituals to look into the future.

The old buildings in the museum park have been moved there from their original sites.

In the second picture, if you wonder about the stony ground, that is a classic labyrinth (link to Wikipedia article).

PS. Inspired by a question about the labyrinth I’m putting in a separate post about that in my Island of Voices blog – Labyrinth of Life.


Ginny Hartzler said...

Boy, I didn't know that you celebrated this! I did recognize the maypole, though. And I was really wondering about the stony ground!! I couldn't figure out what it was, almost looks like a strange rug they laid in the middle of the grass. So I'm very glad you mentioned it. What do they do with it? Pictures are great, the wreaths on the heads are so pretty, and they didn't skimp on the flowers!

Graham Edwards said...

What a merry time. Quite lifted the heart.

MadSnapper said...

You know i loved the old buildings in the photos. great shots of the fun time. I will catch your other post later today
i have been at the beach all day on walkabout, to tired to type. more later.


Awards given to DawnTreader's Picture Book

Over-the-Top Award from NPT @ The Nature..., 3 November 2009.
More info at The Island of the Voices.

'Blog of the Week' from Brett @ 365 to 42, 9 November 2009.

From Scriptor Senex @ Rambles From My Chair, 22 November 2009

About Me - DawnTreader

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Västergötland, Sweden
PLEASE NOTE that this blog is no longer being updated, and comments are therefore closed.

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For this blog, I have chosen a template that allows me to show pictures as big as possible . Some of the things you usually find in the sidebar, you will find here at the bottom of the page instead - Blog Archive, Followers etc.

My camera is a Nikon Coolpix 4600.
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