Midsummer holidays – the most important day in Sweden

Stockholm midsummer

Did you think that the national day was a big thing in Sweden? If so you were wrong.

The biggest day in Sweden is Midsummer eve, it’s a combination of national day, party day, family day and all other days you can think of.

Sweden comes to a halt and everybody wants to enjoy a fantastic, traditional Midsummer party at a picturesque countryside place, hopefully with some traditional costumes and traditions. It’s all there is left of the old times in Sweden now and it’s a important tradition to keep alive.

Stockholm has a few larger midsummer parties open to everyone but none in the city except Skansen which is more of a show than a party but of course a great way for tourists to see what midsummer is all about.

If you want more of a genuine celebration you can visit spots outside of the city:

Traditional celebration in Segeltorp. Segeltorps culture society arranges dancing around the Midsummer pole with live music. Lotteries, a fish pond and a lucky wheel is also present. Opens 13.00 to 15.00 Free entrance. Location: Magasinet Juringe gård, Segeltorp.

A classic Midsummer celebration at Tempeludden, Hässelby villastad. Starts at 12.00 and ends at 16.00. The midsummer pole will be dressed, then there will be singing, dancing and games. Coffee and lotteries. All revenue goes to the organizers Folkdansgille and Hässelby Schackklubb for non-profit activities.

Reservations for bad weather and unforeseen events.

Since this is the most important day of the year, the weather in Sweden is usually quite bad in order to test the strength and willpower of all people celebrating!

Stockholm midsummer


Some history about the Midsummer festival:

A long time ago, Midsummer celebrations in Sweden were held to welcome summertime and the season of fertility, probably as early as the year 1500. Later, food has become a important part of the event and all want to feast on pickled herring, beer and vodka.

Midsummer celebrations has now became the most Swedish of all traditional festivities. As Midsummer Night is the shortest nighttime of the year it has long been considered a magical night, legends has it that the night before Midsummer’s Day is a magical time for love. During this night many relationships are put to the test. With alcohol, the truth will come out, which can lead both to marriage and to divorce. Midsummer is also really an occasion that opens up a lot of nostalgia and memories from childhood with Swedish people.

A typical Midsummer meal features different kinds of pickled herring, boiled new potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and chives. This is often followed by a grilled dish of some kind, such as spare rib or salmon, and for dessert the first strawberries of summer, with cream.

The traditional beverage accompaniment is beer and schnapps, preferably spiced. Every time the glasses are refilled you must sing before allowed to drink your glass. Swedes like drinking songs and prefer them as naughty as possible.

Midsummer is a popular time of year for weddings. Despite not being very active churchgoers, Swedes still like to get married in a country church with summer flowers, arched entrance and beautiful hymns. Oh what a lovely time Midsummer is!


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