A Traditional Midsummer in Järvsö, Sweden

Swedes love the sun. In a county that sees more darkness than light during the winter, this is not surprising. So when the summer solstice rolls around, Swedes are ready to celebrate.

Midsummer is an official holiday in Sweden. It is not necessarily celebrated on the day of the summer solstice but the Friday and Saturday of the summer solstice weekend. It is a celebration focused on tradition. Everything from what songs to sing, dances to dance, foods to eat, and clothes to wear.

Järvsö Midsummer Swedish Flag

I have spent a few Midsummer’s in Sweden now. Each one has been a bit different. But this year was one of the more traditional ones. Mostly because I found myself in Järvsö, Sweden. A small little town about 300 km north of Stockholm near the eastern coast of Sweden.

Järvsö Midsummer May Pole

Järvsö is right in the middle of the Hälsingland region, a region that seems to pride itself on nature and of course its folk costumes and folk dancing. And there is no better time to see traditional Swedish folk dancing than at Midsummer. Swedes dance around the May pole holding hands, singing along to classic songs about cleaning the home or small frogs (a traditional song whose meaning still escapes me). All in all, Midsummer is a time to enjoy the daylight. Even if it might be raining, as it was in many parts of Sweden this year.

Järvsö Midsummer Folk Dancing

Sweden tends to be one of those countries that most people visit during the summer. The winter months, while charming in my opinion, don’t always appeal to everyone. So if you find yourself traveling to Sweden, aim for the summer solstice. Spend your vacation up north with nearly 20 hours of daylight while dancing around a May pole singing about small frogs.

More Tips for Things to Do in Sweden

We’ve lots more travel tips for what to do in Sweden.

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About Marcus Cederstrom

I was born in Sweden and moved to the US just before my 6th birthday. I grew up in the United States eventually graduating from the University of Oregon. After graduation and about 17 years in the US I made the decision to move back to Sweden. I have been living in Stockholm since the summer of 2007. Since graduation I have traveled throughout eastern Australia as well as in Sweden and Europe.