When it comes to national holidays, the Swedish know how to celebrate in unmistakable style. Sweden’s traditional Midsummer celebrations, which take place over the weekend closest to June 24, are significant for the entire nation. Everyone leaves in droves to congregate with relatives and friends in the countryside and along the coasts. If you want to travel to Sweden for Midsummer and Midsummer’s Eve, then Jaya Travel has created the perfect travel guide to Sweden.
What Is the Swedish Midsummer Celebration?
The Swedish Nordic Museum claims that the origin of Midsummer festivities can be found in a Christian holiday commemorating John the Baptist, which fell on June 24th. It was determined in 1953 that Midsummer should always happen on the Friday between the 20th and 26th of June.
Even while the actual Midsummer festival was not observed in paganism, there were most likely other summer solstice celebrations. It was actually Germany where the iconic midsommarstang, or maypole, which is at the center of the celebrations, first appeared, most likely in the late 17th or early 18th century.
Traditional Swedish Midsummer Celebrations
Around noon, friends and family meet begin Midsummer celebrations with a picnic in the park. The festival officially begins when the maypole, or midsommarstång, is raised in the park’s central area. It’s essential to dance around the maypole, and occasionally a group dressed in traditional clothes performs the first dance.
Later, a leisurely lunch is eaten. Essentials in this smörgåsbord include salmon or gravlax, potatoes with dill, sour cream, pickled herring, and chives. The celebration lasts well into the night and is filled with singing, dancing, and drinking to the accompaniment of fiddles and accordions.
Where to Celebrate Midsummer in Sweden:
Dalarna, which is centered around Lake Siljan, is one of the best destinations in Sweden. Residents retain the Middle Ages cultural legacy, which can be observed in their handicrafts.
You’ll notice red cottages accented with white door and window frames while you’re here. While outsiders could interpret this as a sign of uniformity, this is primarily about practicality, because the wood is protected from the weather by a specific copper preservative in the traditional red paint.
The Lake Siljan Church boat races (kyrkbtar), a floating procession of wooden longboats, begins on Midsummer’s Day at Siljansnäs where inhabitants once rowed to Sunday service. The procession moves through several areas around the lake for ten days before arriving in Leksand on the first Saturday in July.
The region around Gothenburg and the Bohuslän coast is home to an archipelago of some 3000 midnight-sun islands. If it’s your first summer vacation in Sweden, then this is top place to celebrate midsummer.
Scandinavia’s largest harbor is set against the stunning Neoclassical architecture of Sweden’s second city, which also has a ton of exquisite avenues and squares. A walking tour in Sweden is a terrific way to get to know the old city. Or, follow the locals’ example and celebrate the summer solstice away from the city on one of the islands.
Celebrate Midsummer in Sweden
After reading this blog, we hope you’re ready to travel to Sweden and participate in the Midsummer festival! Contact Jaya Travel for help planning travel to Sweden, or anywhere else around the globe. We’ll find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, and more!
Also, keep an eye out for our Top 10 Destinations of 2023 series, which features more locations for vacation!