6

I will be lucky enough to be in Stockholm on Midsummer's eve this year, and would be willing to travel to nearby areas.

Are there public Midsummer's Eve events near Stockholm I could attend?

  • Welcome! Your question was subjective ('best') and as per the help center, that's off-topic. I've reworded your question to try and make it less subjective. Hope that's ok. – Mark Mayo May 22 '15 at 0:46
8

Yes there are plenty. The most thourough experience is probably to visit Skansen - the outdoors combined zoo and open-air museum at Djurgården. They have some shorter information in english about this. In swedish there are several pages about the festivities.

Almost everwhere there are some kind of local festivity going on. It may be hard to track down. In Sollentuna where I live there is traditional celebrations at the local folk museum (called hembygdsgård in swedish). This is very common.

Most swedes however bring friends and family to their summer houses and have a smaller celebration. This is the most genuine way to do it. Things to expect:

  • Typically you start at lunch with sill and nubbe. (Pickled herring and spiced vodka.)
  • Then you may either have a maypole of your own to construct and raise or you visit one of the local festivities for this part of the celebrations. Once the pole is raised there are supposed to be some music and tradiational dancing around it. This part is mostly forgotten and usually only includes the childrens dance called "Små grodorna" - the little frogs. (Skansen will surely have some traditional dancing going on though.) Update: a video clip to get the feeling for this part.

  • After the pole part it may be time for sports. Kubb is a game from gotland that is played all over the country nowadays. I have also been involved in soccer games at this stage of the day.

  • Later on - more food. More sill and nubbe but also BBQed meet. New potatoes are also an important part of both lunch and dinner. This may often be the first time of the year when you can have new potatoes. Really nice!
  • Expect to sing some nubbevisor to the spirits. More ambitious people have a little booklet with songs to sings in relation to drinking. They are supposed to end with a "Skål" and everyone drinking the nubbe.
  • Strawberries are an important part of the food stuffs. The most pure way to have it is plain with fat milk but it is also common with home made strawberry cake. Picture by mariahagglof of flickr.
  • We always talk about typical swedish summer weather in relation to midsummer. We have all spent one or two midsummers freezing in a party tent at someones summr house. When the weather is good it is a different story though.
  • Traditional clothing. Different parts of Sweden has different kind of tradiational clothing and the most likely day to use it is on midsummers eve.
  • If you are a not married woman you can pick seven different kinds of flowers and (in some versions) jump over seven hedges. Then put the flowers under your pillow and you will dream of your future spouse.

If in doubt about any of this just ask any swede at hand. They will be happy to explain it all.

In short - a bigger celebration may have more of the traditional stuff included but a smaller one is more the way most swedes do it.

After this I leave you with this (somewhat sad) maypole from my families celebrations in 2011.

  • 1
    Wow! Thanks for the detailed answer. Skansen seems like the place for me. – aintgeorge May 26 '15 at 15:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.