Glad Midsommar!

Midsummer Sweden is when Swedes celebrate the most. For me, the national day of Sweden is not the official day on 6th June (which was not even a bank holiday when I moved to Sweden), but Midsummer. That is when Swedes feel free to glory in summer and enjoy their coming holidays.

Midsummer is celebrated on the weekend closest to the summer solstice. People are happy, often the weather is glorious, showing Sweden at its most beautiful. For me, the epitome of Sweden is still the snow and ice in winter by the North Pole but I love the beauty, happiness and celebration of the summer as well.  I come from a country with a year-long summer, so it took me a long time to learn to celebrate light and sun and warmth and flowers.

This year we went to Skansen for midsummer, which I absolutely adored. Skansen is my absolute favourite experience in Sweden. No matter how many times I go there, there is always more to see.

I am not a fan of zoos so I always spend my time wandering around the small town. Each building is original (the oldest is from the 1300s) and was moved to Skansen from its original location. All the equipment is original – for example the contents in the pharmacy storeroom area are from 1700s. You can watch books being bound, leather being tanned, glass being blown. And then you can buy items from the blacksmith, sit in a school bench, and watch how textiles were made. You can get married in the church and eat in the café.

We wandered around for a few hours and then we ate a traditional Swedish midsummer buffet in the restaurant. I spent most of my time in the bookbindery and printing works!

and then we continued our midsummer celebrations with a 5-hour bike ride through small towns and communities around Stockholm.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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