Glad Midsommar! Posted by Tibor on Jun 24, 2016 in Culture
Glad Midsommar gott folk! The Midsummer eve that we are actually celebrating today is also known as St. John’s Day (English) or Juhannus (Finland) Szent-Iván éj (Hungary). The tradition has pagan origins. In Sweden we celebrate always on the weekend of the summer soltice so actually the longest day has already been on the 21st of June, now the days are getting darker again. But don’t worry you won’t experience it until mid August because it is a matter of minutes we are talking about.
So as I am writing the post I have been thinking what Midsummer actually means to me. For me it is very much about the light that feels eternal and friends, and family. I don’t use either an alarm clock or blinds during the summer which means that I actually sleep less compared to winter time when it is rather hard waking up in the mornings. When I used to live in Iceland I used to love the midnight sun and I remember how my continental friends used to whine about that they couldn’t sleep. I somehow find it magical because the light is very special this time of the year and it has inspired many writers, light/lamp designers, and designers in general and other artists in Sweden and the Nordics. Midsummer is the biggest Swedish holiday. More important than Christmas.
So what I am about to do now after having a large breakfast that I will prepare even more food for the afternoon and evening. This year I am spending my Midsummer with friends. We usually spend the evening at someone’s summer cottage and everybody brings something to eat and we share it. The typical menu would be Västerbottenost-pie which is an excellent cheese quiche, pickled-herring in different sauces (inlagd sill), my favourites are the classical herring in mustard or blackcurrant (senapssill and sill i svarta vinbär). There are usually also some potatoes with jives, even dill sometimes on the top and other green herbs. You should also add some sour cream to it. Boiled egg-halfs with whitefish roe is also a popular food on the table. But I guess the most crucial thing around midsummer is some strawberries and a strawberry cake!!! Don’t forget the potatoes and the strawberries because someone might freak out. It can ruin the whole celebration for some people. I am dead serious now 🙂
I will also need to go to the flower shop because we will make flower wreath to wear all through the evening. This used to be a tradition that only women did back in the days but in modern days everybody likes to wear them. I have put some hyperlink in this text for you if you want to find the recipes or want to read more about certain things to gain a deeper understanding for Midsummer. Here is also a typical midsummer song that people sometimes sing at the celebration. But I guess you need some shots (nubbe) before it. 😉
Lyrics: Små grodorna