Midsummer at Skansen

One of the highlights of a summer in Sweden is the wonderfully pagan festival on midsummers eve. Bryony was due to arrive in Stockholm on mid summers day so it was a no brainer to go to Skansen to enjoy the most traditional mid summer in Sweden ( or so we were told).

Skansen is a park on one of Stockholms islands which for more than a hundred years has been dedicated to preserving Swedens cultural heritage , specifically historically important old buildings which have been moved and rebuilt there from all over the country. On our first visit 4 years ago we thought it might be a bit naff, but it turned out to be be fascinating and informative.

Judging by the queues at the entrance this visit was going to be very crowded , but everyone was very good humoured and this set the tone for a charming day. We arrived in time to sit along with about 4000 others and have a picnic in the field where the distinctly phallic maypole was to be erected, and as the time came for the festivities to start we were joined by about 4000 more. Unless you had a front row position or were well over 6 foot you couldnt see the initial ceremony , but I was able to take photos and show Lynda what was going on. Luckily only about a quarter of the folk there wanted to dance and sing the wonderfully eccentric songs that are traditional for this ceremony , but that still left 2000 of us of all ages hopping around like frogs and singing lustily in between gales of laughter, which must be some sort of record for mass participation silliness. We had a brilliant time and left, still laughing, to go back to Festina for the traditional midsummer meal of herring and potatoes and sour cream , followed by strawberries and lots of schnapps.

Leave a Reply