Midsummer is one of the most beloved holidays in Sweden, surrounded by traditions and folklore dating back to pagan times. Celebrating the longest day of the year, people gather in the countryside to drink schnapps and dance like frogs with flowers in their hair.
Dancing around the maypole
In the centre of Midsummer traditions and everyone's attention, the maypole is dressed in leaves and flowers before being raised in an open spot. Then ring-dances follow, often led by a person dressed in traditional clothes playing the accordion. The most famous one is about certain little frogs, demonstrated by actress Alicia Vikander in the video below:
Herring, new potatoes and flavoured schnapps
Food is an integral part of the Midsummer celebrations, and different kinds of pickled herring abound, accompanied by boiled new potatoes, sour cream and chives. Traditional drinks include beer and flavoured schnapps, washed down with a seemingly never-ending list of drinking songs. Last but not least, the first strawberries of summer are served as dessert.
Foto: Alexander Hall/imagebank.sweden.se
Seven flowers under your pillow
According to tradition, Midsummer was a magical night, and the best time for telling someone's future. Want to know who you're going to marry? Pick seven different flowers, from seven different fields, put them under your pillow at night and dream of your future husband or wife!
Find events and restaurants for your Midsummer celebration in Gothenburg: