Yesterday, I celebrated my first traditional Swedish Midsummer (or Midsommarafton) at a festival in London. Before I start I should probably mention that I’m not Swedish. My girlfriend is Swedish, and she highly recommended that I need to experience a proper Swedish Midsummer.
The festival was held inside Hyde Park in London. In my opinion it was probably the best place for it to be held. There were so many people! The bus journey to Hyde Park was interesting to say the least. We were running a few minutes late and I kept mentioning that this was most un-Swedish like and I was told that (unfortunately) sometimes Swedes are late too! After sitting in traffic for a bit we finally arrived at Hyde Park!
Upon arrival the atmosphere was fantastic. We quickly found somewhere to set out our picnic and then began our celebration of midsummer, Swedish style. I got to try a number of Swedish delicacies including Caviar, pickled herring and Strawberries (or Jordgubbar!). I must praise the Swedish for their love of pickled herring, It’s amazing and incredibly addictive, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it before!
Something else that I found throughly enjoyable were the traditional Swedish songs. One song that is a pretty important part of the Midsommarafton celebration is called Små Grodorna (Small Frogs) and a sort of frog like dance is done around the maypole. One big thing I learnt about the Swedes was the phrase ‘skål’ which means cheers. Skål is always said when drinking Snaps after every traditional folk song.
The 2015 Midsommarafton celebration was something i’ll probably never forget. Next year i’ll definitely make sure that i’m not driving so I can take part in the drinking songs, and then, throw some mean shapes around that maypole! Sweden, be prepared, i’ll be making my mark on Midsommarafton 2016! 🙂