Friday, 21 June 2013

Glad Midsommar from Sweden!

Today is the Swedish holiday of Midsommar, celebrated on the longest day of the year. The origins of the festival is prominently pagan, however it has shed all of its original meaning in 2013, and it now just a Swedish tradition where you meet friends ad have BBQ's. Much like every weekend in the summer now. 

The idea is that you make a hole in the ground, and put a large pole in it and dance around it in a folk-dance fashion. 'Like a maypole?' I hear you British readers think. Yes! However, the shape of the pole is a little more symbolic of fertility than bells and sticks. 
The head dresses you see Annie and I wearing are the typical Midsommar crowns that we made at the start. Normally just the women have flowers in, but I wanted to really experience the culture. 

It was great to get a taste of this Swedish holiday. My wife tells me that Midsommar is the second of two days of the years when all the shops close, Christmas Day being the second. The advantage of this being that Sunday is the start of the Midsommar sales, much we see of Boxing Day in the UK. 

I am getting used to the Swedish way of life. With this time of year bringing many bank holidays. In Sweden, the bank holiday isn't just the day it self, but the day after as well. Not something that I hear many complaining about. 

We are having a Midsommer BBQ this evening with friends, so we are hoping the weather holds out. Annie tells me that rain is also common for this day, which is a little disappointing. It doesn't dampen our spirits as much as the ground though. 

Glad Midsommar! 

The Captain