the blooming time now come with great joy and beauty

“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:

95 thoughts on “the blooming time now come with great joy and beauty

  1. A wonderful celebration my friend with so much light that it must be absolute magic! Ironically enough, it was our shortest day and winter solstice so if I may be completely honest, I must say that your beautiful slide show cheered me up 😀
    Thank you!


  2. Hi,
    It sounds like a wonderful festival, I love the idea of wearing flowers and singing together, it all sounds like a lot a fun and good food as well. 🙂
    What a lovely idea about putting the bottle in a tetra pak with flowers and leaves and then freezing it, I haven’t heard of this before, but I imagine it would look fantastic, and so refreshing as well. 🙂

    • Thank you so much … it will keep the vodka cold for hours … and as you said, it looks amazing .. all guest are so impressed. Happy Midsummer to you!

    • Yes, they really are … we have heavy rain in our part of Sweden, in the south – feel so sorry for all job that has gone into arranging this festival in every village, town and city. At least it will cut down on the problems for the alarm services.

    • Yes, I would have been … but it pouring down outside … that means less job for the alarm services, but not fun to all the fun that has been planned in every village, down and city. This is our major festival – we also celebrate the last day of winter, last april. Otherwise is the same as you guys with X-mas and Easter.

    • Yes, the dogs are great … it has stopped raining now – about an hour ago and the first ambulance came on my street only 5 mins ago. Been quite the whole day during the rain.

    • Thanks a million .. I think the dogs are brilliant too. So cute – there was quite a few on goggle when I searched for photo, but this photo was the best of the lot.

  3. A wonderful celebration to welcome summer. Thank you Viveka for sharing your customs with us. Seven men under the pillow would definitely up your chance of finding a husband instead of flowers. Too funny!

    • Karen … I’m not too sure about that .. but I’m sure it will be a lot more fun then it was with the 7 flowers. *smile – we got a nice evening, a bit chilly – but the whole day went in rain. A pity … at least the evening gave sunshine. It’s a mad festival – too mad – we read about in the newspaper tomorrow.

  4. I love this post, Viveka. Thanks for posting so much about the celebrations in Sweden at this time of the year. All the pictures are lovely too. Thank you for sharing.

  5. good idea with the 7 guys under the pillow!! The flowers never worked for me either. I mean, I’m married but not because of the flowers… 🙂

    • Yes, it’s a very special to us Swedes … I would say the most important holiday after Christmas.
      We aren’t not that far away – my landlord has guest apartments that cost €28 per night – 4 beds apartments. You’re so welcome to Skåne and Landskrona.

      • You’re more than welcome .. and all kids enjoy Midsummer they are very involved in it .. the games and the dancing around the maypool – its very much a family festival … you know where to find me. *smile

      • I will definitely find you if we find ourselves in your part of the continent, Viveka. My husband was talking about wild camping out there. 😉

      • In Sweden is the camping parks of very high comfort and standards. Washing machines, sauna … shops, restaurants and playgrounds … and outdoor dancing for weekends.

  6. Happy Midsummer! I must saw, loved the video as the subtle wit!!!! …. and that strawberry cake looks awesome!

  7. I would enjoy this festival right about now. 🙂 Still as fabulous as last year.

    (FYI…another blogger told me my blogs were not being sent to her email like she signed up for. I came to my reader and saw your blog but I didn’t get an email either. Have you noticed missing any blogs?)

    • I added the funny video this year .. can’t do a new post every year about the same thing. I love Midsummer … no rain so far.

      I had problems to make this published … but I have recieved emails about your posts – but been in the bed flue .. first day on the feet today.
      Haven’t checked email today – but I think there was a problem earlier – had to post about 4 times. Will check later.

      • Ah! Feel better Viveka! I am finding posts in the “Reader” that I have not gotten emails for either. So now I don’t know what I’ve missed or for how long.

      • Colleen, I had 195 emails today .. so something has to work. You have to check so the settings hasn’t changed for the blogs you follow – that can happen suddenly without any explanation.

      • Oh pooh (bear!). Ach. I will one rainy day. Today it was guitar lessons, planting and power washing outside. A wedding later. I will see what I can figure out. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • Yes, that was 2 days … action, but there is no way I can manage to read and answer on all them today. Done good so fare. Have to use the delete button.
        Wedding .. I just love them. Even if I don’t believe in marriage do I love to go on weddings. So glad that so many others do.
        You just go to Reader and blogs you follow – and check out the settings, very easy to do. Just click on Edit – an see what has happen.

      • Oh thank you! That sounds SO much easier than what I was GOING to do! 🙂

        I will think of you at the wedding and though I don’t drink, I will raise a toast from the party to in silent homage to happy wedding going. 😉

      • Didn’t get any rain today … but it has been hanging over us .. and now I have sunshine on my balcony, 7 pm over here now .. and time for Tuna Salad on the balcony. *smile

    • I know … Midsummer is the festival of madness .. the frog dance take some energy … go the strawberry cake will put the balance back.
      Don’t worry we are only this made … on Midsummer.
      A bit too bad most of the times – police will have a busy evening and night. And tomorrow we start drinking again. Happy Midsummer.

      • And you, my dear! Drinking- now there’s a good idea. The sun has finally come out after a gloomy day. I think I’ll join you in a little celebration. 🙂

      • Good, get a nice chilled white in your glass … and SKÅL for the summer. I have finished my freezing “nubbe” now – and I think it did my cold some good.
        Jo, Happy Summer to us both.
        Next year maybe we can sit on my balcony ….

  8. Happy Midsommar to you, too, dear Viveka! 🙂
    I hope you will enjoy this weekend with all its happiness, after all the tough times you are going through.
    Big hug from a very hot Vienna xo 🙂

    • Today will it be rain … so today I have put to side to spend in my cyber world.
      Next week will be busy with moms funeral … so I will be off line again.
      Have a fantastic weekend.

    • Never heard about Blooms Day before – have to look it up and I lived 11 years in total on Ireland, but I was working most day. Thanks for the information.

      • It is celebrated every year … people get dressed up and visit places that the Ulysses is set in … there are readings from the book along the way and overall it’s good fun. James Joyce set it on the 1th of June because that was his first real date with Nora … 0n the 14th she stood him up.

  9. During a trip in the Bavarian Alps, we found the remains of a maypole. And oh how I wished then that we witnessed or even participated in the occasion. Sounds like great fun Viveka.

    • Swedish Midsummer isn’t the same as in Bavaria, but it could be coming from there … original. Theirs are much more well behaved. *smile

    • Thanks a million. the video is brilliant – that is exact what midsummer is about .. and it’s funny too.
      I think we will get a good rain today, yesterday was a such a bright day – I have to have the a lamp on now .. 10 am.

  10. What a fun celebration! I wonder if there are statistics on how many babies are conceived on that day with all that Nubbe being consumed 😀 That frozen bottle looks sensational. Shall have to try it for when we have company next. Thanks for a lovely post Viveka, loved the video 🙂

    • Madhu, the video is so fun and so true .. and it’s made by the department of tourism,
      I think the rate is pretty high – because Midsummer is wild. I have to search with help of google.
      The iced bottle is a great idea – make sure the the the tetra pack is a fair bit bigger than the bottle and you can’t do it with wine, because it freeze.
      My pleasure.

  11. Beautiful, Viveka, and so lovely to see you celebrating it. I LOVE seeing your side of the world. My gosh I would love to fly over and meet you – that would be so amazing.

    • Noeleen, that would had been fantastic to get a visit …. you are so welcome when ever you feel for it – promise you that you will love Sweden. This time of the year is the best or the beginning of December with all our candles in the windows everywhere.
      Welcome to Sweden.

    • I love strawberry cake .. my grandma did it with pancakes – the best cake in the world. *smile
      The cold is gone now – and I hope it will stay away now – twice in 10 days is more than enough. Cold in the summer is worst then in the winter. It stick around for so much longer.

  12. It doesn’t seem long since I was commenting on here last year, Vivi! I must be getting old. They say time speeds up 🙂 I hope you will enjoy this year’s celebration. Stay well! 🙂

    • Thanks, Jo … the year passes so fast and you are maybe right – time passes quicker the older we get. The weather is not great today in most parts of Sweden, so that will put a small lid on the madness – but the news will still be the same tomorrow; somebody has got killed/murdered, somebody has got raped … and fighting in all corners of the country. The same sad aftermaths every year and all down to all the drinking. We are not getting any wiser when it’s about our Midsummer celebration.

      • Jo, home alone …. have been under the weather for over a week now and not very sociable. I will have oven baked salted herring for dinner this evening and an iced “nubbe”. I have through my working years, been working 98% of most Midsummers – so I don’t really know how to celebrate *laughing.
        Never cared for the Midsummer as such, but while living abroad I always got so badly homesick every year for Midsummer. Strange.

      • I thought you hadn’t been ‘out there’ very much, on the blog. Sometimes I look and there are 3 or 4 new pieces sprung up. Ok, so have a relaxing time. I know you’re good at being your own company. Funny the things that make us nostalgic, isn’t it? Hugs, darlin! 🙂
        I had a crazy busy day yesterday so am just gently working my way into the day today. Did my postcard arrive yet?

      • Jo, after Istanbul I have got problems with a knee – and it is so painful during the nights, have hardly sleep comfortable for one night for over 15 days. Doctor next week. I hope it’s my old injury that is playing up, because it means it will go away in about 3 years’ time *laughing – aren’t myself at all .. don’t know what is wrong.
        No postcard yet, Sweet Pea.
        Yes, Jo … work yourself gently into your days … love that. Best way to start a day, but some days just goes out of hands, but I think if we take our time in the morning the rest of day is relaxed too.
        It has never bothered me to be alone – because it’s a loneliness that I have chosen and not forced up on. I like my own company. Because I’m such a great person to be around. *laughing.
        Today I give my new images sometime and I will spend a day in my online world. Morning hug …

      • I have a sinking feeling that your postcard is still sitting in a box outside one of the post offices in Tavira! I love the Algarve dearly but it not what I call a reliable place to post from. I posted it on Tuesday,10th June, which was a public holiday over there. There was nobody to ask but it said there would be a collection at 4.30 daily. If it doesn’t arrive, Vivi, I will send you one from my personal collection (but it won’t have an Algarve stamp 🙂 )
        Take care, hon. 🙂

      • Jo, you’re such a sweetheart – it will come one day – lovely of you to think about me. Keep your collection, when ever your card is coming I will enjoy it.
        Post service are a bit funny all over the world. My friends in Vienna didn’t get one of the postcards I sent to them – 4 in total during my visit to US and Canada 2 years ago. Not one .. how come.
        Our post service are very expensive – but very fast and reliable, but we pay for it. Sent a parcel to Thailand this week, £45.00 for 2 kilo. Told them that I didn’t want to buy the post services.

  13. I’m sorry I didn’t get in touch with you Viveka. One of the tour participants that flew into Copenhagen arrived a day late and we had to return to the airport to pick her up and then a day later when we traveled to Stockholm, she lost her purse with her passport and credit cards. What an ordeal! Enjoy your Festival! ~Sherry

    • Sherry, Glad Midsommar!
      What an ordeal to lose passport and credit cards – and in the beginning of a holiday – I can image you had your hands full as a tour organizer. I thought about you last week – but I have been under the weather healthy wise and not very sociable. I would have loved to meet up with you and it was down to me too … to take contact. Hopefully there will be another chance – also with you being responsible for other people welfare and experiences.
      Thanks for contacting me and I hope that all the work up with the poor woman’s lost her purse is now sorted and that you all can enjoy the rest of your European tour. Was the purse stolen????
      Enjoy and thanks for contacting me.

  14. This is such a wonderful post Viveka! I wish that Aaron and I would be there for midsommar, we’re going to be a month too late! Never mind. This is a great visual recap of the festivities… hope that you had a lovely celebration yourself and that you are enjoying the warmer weather! P.S what a shame that the flower tradition doesn’t work… it’s a nice idea 😉 x

    • Laura, we had a bad start today – with thunder and pouring rain – but now the sun is out, but a bit chilly in the wind – but with loads of “nubbe” in our bodies … we don’t feel any pain at all.
      I will spend Midsummer home alone and I like it like this – no disorder expect myself to worry about. Talking my camera for a walk one of the days.
      What date will you arrive and for how long will you stay??? So looking forward to meet up with you.

  15. I even noted your Midsummer celebration on my celebrations list! … Meanwhile, so what am I doing in your dreams? 😉

  16. Happy celebration, I can’t imagine daylight for 24 hours it is just unreal. I want to visit Stockholm wiht my son for a couple of days as he likes Sweden so much! That will be in August most likely though.
    Enjoy your 21st!

    • You will love Sweden – and August is a great month. You will maybe have a chance to take part in our yearly crayfish festival.
      Your son has great taste – I love Sweden too. *smile
      We have a very chilly Midsommar this year. Rained yesterday too.

  17. what a lovely summer festival, Viv! i was in Malmo with my friends for the annual festival a couple of years ago and we had a blast! great post, Viveka! 🙂

    • It’s absolutely mad over here – to much party and drinking and it goes out of hand on many places over Midsummer. But it is a great tradition and for us for Swedes the most important national holiday. I can imaging the your friend had a great time, with all the snaps and herrings. *smile

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