Scandinavian Midsummer With All Its Traditions

In Scandinavia, the next seasonal celebration after Christmas that people look forward to is Midsummer. The Midsummer is a traditional festival that celebrates the Summer solstice. It happens on the longest day of the year, which is June 21. It is even considered a national holiday in Sweden. You can check the national holidays of Scandinavian countries if you’re curious about it. The majority of celebrations on Midsummer’s Eve will happen on whenever a Saturday occurs between the 20th and 26th of June.

The Summer Solstice Celebration

It is a traditional practice from ancient times to be celebrating the Summer solstice. It first happened way back in the times before Christianity was formed. The original purpose of Midsummer was a festival that was centred around fertility. It came with various rituals and customs that involved nature, and they hoped for a fruitful harvest when the autumn would arrive. The traditions of Midsummer in Scandinavia originated during the times of the pagans. They celebrated the sun god’s victory over the darkness. It occurred during the midpoint of the agrarian times’ harvest season. They considered trying to tip the scales of luck and fortune to be of significant importance during Midsummer. The emphasis they had was on making sure that negativity and evil spirits were scared away from them. Like as with any other meaningful traditions of Scandinavia, having others to celebrate with and indulging in delicious food go hand in hand. The food that is traditionally eaten in Scandinavia during Midsummer are fresh fruit, potatoes with smoked fish or herring, and for the adults, there’s beer and schnapps.

Sweden’s Midsummer Celebration

Midsummer in Sweden is known as Midsommar. They decorate their houses outside and inside with flower garlands and wreaths. Most of the people of Sweden will celebrate the night before. During the day of Midsummer, the majority of businesses and establishments will be closed so that their employees can enjoy themselves and have fun. The people of Sweden dance all around a midsummer pole that’s covered in decorations. They do this while they listen to folk songs that everyone knows.  Like in many different countries, Midsummer’s magic brings bonfires, which might seem familiar to people familiar with the Walpurgis Night traditions of the Swedish. They also divine the future looking for one’s future spouse’s identity.

Sweden’s Midsummer Celebration
Sweden’s Midsummer Celebration image via Flickr

Denmark’s Midsummer Celebration

The eve of Midsummer is a famous event in Denmark. They will celebrate it under the evening sky with processions and huge bonfires. The people of Denmark believe that Midsummer has been celebrated ever since the Vikings were around. Midsummer was considered a national holiday, but it wasn’t until the end of the 1700s when it wasn’t considered a national holiday anymore. The people of Denmark usually celebrate Midsummer on the night before the actual day. Back during the medieval era, the healers of Denmark would gather the medicinal herbs they needed on the eve of Midsummer. The people of Denmark would also visit the wells where they thought that evil spirits would be warded away from them.

Denmark’s Midsummer Celebration
Denmark’s Midsummer Celebration