Celebrating Midsommar in Sweden

Midsommar happens to be the most important holiday in Sweden and it happens to take place around my birthday each year. This year therefore, I decided to combine the two. I made Malmö the last stop of my Scandinavian Roadtrip and met my parents there to celebrate Midsommar together. I haven't celebrated it before so this was the first time for all of us.

Now, as you might not know what Midsommar is about, let me explain it briefly. Midsommar as the name says, marks the longest day of the year which in many parts of Sweden means that the sun doesn't go down at all or only very shortly. As Malmö is in the very south of Sweden, this was not the case for us of course.

But Midsommar is not only about celebrating the summer but mainly about food, booze and having fun. Traditionally, there is a public party in every town and village where traditional songs are played and sung and the old and young dance around the maypole (which is decorated by everyone before). Later on, everyone heads home to have dinner with their family.At least, that's the way it was done in Malmö. I think it's a different story if you live in a little village or on an island out in the Gothenburg or Stockholm archipelago. I can imagine that people celebrate together if they only have 20 neighbours but I don't know for sure.

Anyway, we headed to Folkets Park in Malmö for their public party. Folkets Park is a very alternative park/chill out area/playground/meeting place in a very alternative area (Möllevangen). For two nights I lived around the corner of Folkets Park with people who totally fitted into that neighbourhood and although I had pink hair at that time and looked like I belonged too, I don't really talk the same language as street artists, eco-activists and dreamers, sorry!

Anyway, I moved into a flat with my parents when they got to Malmö, situated about 10 minutes from Folkets Park in a different neighbourhood. Midsommar was on their second day in Sweden so it was quite an event for them. We headed to the park at about 10 in the morning and had a fantastic time until it started raining around midday and we headed back home to eat (as one does at Midsommar). However we had the best weather until then.

It was sunny and lovely and people had a picknick on the grass, including us. There were folk singers on the stage and everyone danced around the maypole (no not me, I was too afraid to stick out as I didn't know the lyrics or the dance moves). They even did the frog song which is just exactly the image I have in mind whenever I think of Midsommar.But the thing I loved the most about Midsommar is the fact that it brings people together. Old and young - Swedish and foreign. There were so many different people in the park that day and everyone just fitted in. And even we Germans felt like we belonged. It was amazing!

But enough of the talk now, enjoy the pictures to get a better idea of what Midsommar is about!

Step 1: Decorate the may pole

Step 2: Set up the maypole

Step 3: Dance!

Step 4: Eat and enjoy the party

Step 5: Selfie Time!

Have you ever celebrated Midsommar or any other unique holiday abroad?