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.
I have spent a few Midsummerâ€™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 JÃ¤rvsÃ¶, Sweden. A small little town about 300 km north of Stockholm near the eastern coast of Sweden.
JÃ¤rvsÃ¶ is right in the middle of the HÃ¤lsingland 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.
Sweden tends to be one of those countries that most people visit during the summer. The winter months, while charming in my opinion, donâ€™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.