“The blooming time now come with great joy and beauty:
you approach the sweet summer, when grass and crops grow.
With gentle and lively warmth to all who have died,
the sun’s rays to approach, and everything gets re-born.
The beautiful flower meadows and fields precious grain,
the rich herb beds and groves green trees,
They will remind us God’s goodness wealth,
be at the mercy bear in mind to last the whole year.
It belongs birds sing with multifarious sounds,
must not then our tongues praise Lord God?
My soul extols the glory of God tuning up your song of joy
to the one we want to close, and joy all at once.”
“Den blomster tid nu kommer” – “The Blooming Time Now Come”
Hymn No. 317 of 1695 year Swedish book of hymns – and the most beloved summer song in Sweden and we sing it in school the last day before the summer break. There is nothing more Swedish and there is nothing more full of summer than this hymn.
At the 21th June we celebrate the longest day of the year, Midsommar – with a 3 days festival … the biggest national festival we have in Sweden, with more or less 80% of the adult nation goes on the drink for 2,5 days (we need 12 hours to sober up) and that of course create problems for 112 (emergency services) – that are on full alert (rumors are that no one are allowed to be off duty). For some years now we have move the Midsommar to the closest weekend to the 21th – so we get 3 days instead of one day as we had before, so this year the festival starts today.
Us, single girls are suppose to pick 7 flowers during the Midsummer night – one flower from 7 different fields and under silence (okay – if you’re alone) – then put the flowers under the pillow and dream about the man we will marry. I will give the advice to put 7 guys under the pillow instead and no sleep at all. It has never worked for me with the flowers and I wish I had tried with the guys instead.
We dress a may pool with leafs and flowers – then we dance around and around it for hours while we sing silly songs about small frogs and grandma’s little crow … the more snaps we have in us the funnier that becomes. We wear wreaths in our hair – our midsummer flowers are poppy, blue cornflower and daisy.
We celebrate of course with food too – herring, herring, herring, herring and more herring, sour cream, smoked salmon, caviar and new potatoes (Swedish only) – followed with fresh strawberries (Swedish only) and cream/ice cream. Of course the BBQ has come into the picture too – and then the snaps and it has be ice cold.
The best way to serve ice cold snaps is that the day before put the snaps bottle inside a tetra pak, of course slightly bigger then the bottle and fill the tetra pak with water and fresh flowers/leafs is you want to be fancy – then put it in the freezer until it’s time to serve – then you have remove the tetra pak and you will have a beautiful block of ice around the bottle and all guest will be well impressed. Just like on this photo.
They have said that if you are a true globetrotter is this one of the world festivals you have to experience – up there with Rio, Madi Gras and the Carnival of Venice.
In the Northern part of Sweden the sun are up 24 hrs! Yesterday the sun was up 17,5 hrs here in Landskrona, in the most Southern part of the country.
Happy Midsummer / Glad Midsommar to … you all from Sweden.
P.S. this is reblogging from last year – and it will be every year here in my world.
Photos provided by and thanks to: