Midsummer, also known as St. John’s Day, is celebrated in Sweden. Midsummer is mainly centered on the summer solstice and the midsummer eve falls on a Friday between June 19th and June 25th. The Northern European celebrations could also choose to accompany the actual date on which the summer solstice takes place. However, the exact dates for Midsummer vary according to the culture. Midsummer is also known as Ivan Kupala Day, Summer Solstice and Adonia among others. Midsummer celebrations involve communities that unite, celebrate, celebrate, sing, dance the May stake and light bonfires.
In Europe, celebrations, festivals and traditions related to Midsummer are of pre-Christian origin. These celebrations are quite important for the northern European countries of Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway. However, midsummer celebrations are also strongly observed in Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Belarus, Russia, Ireland and other parts of the southern hemisphere, in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
Midsummer eve celebrations originated in ancient times as a summer solstice party. During the festival, the bonfires lit up because it was believed that they turned away from the evil spirits that roamed around as the sun began to turn south. Later, it was believed that witches would hold their meetings during this time along with other supernatural beings. From the time of the Neolithic, the solstice managed to remain a memorable moment in the annual cycle of the year. In Sweden, the Midsummer Eve is considered the most important holiday of the year in the country, similar to Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and Walpurgis Night. The same is also observed in Latvia, Estonia and Finland.
The Swedish festival celebration
In Sweden, Midsummer is celebrated by families and the community as a whole. Midsummer falls on Saturdays anywhere between June 20th and June 26th. However, the festival has traditionally been observed in June 24th. Currently, the Swedes have the real Midsummer Eve party. Due to its popularity, the event has gained vacation status in the country.
Placing vegetation on barns and houses is an ancient tradition that has been observed from antiquity to the present. However, most people do not take this old tradition seriously. It is thought that decorating with greens brings good luck and health among people and their livestock. The act of decorating with greens was known as att Maja translated into English as ‘in May’. The word could be the origin of the term majstång,Maja was originally derived from the month of May. However, other academics argue that the term originated from German merchants who hoisted the May stake as the Swedish climate was not favorable enough to allow them to find flowers and vegetation during the month of May, hence the name maypole. At the moment, maypole is commonly referred to as a midsommarstång which results in a midsummer pole in English. However, during previous eras, the greens were wrapped in small spiers and erected ahead of the May pole tradition. It is believed to have originated from the meaning of the Middle Ages, and German merchants have little or no influence with regard to summer.
The importance of midsummer in Sweden
In Sweden, Midsummer is such an important festival that the country is also considering taking the National Day of Sweden instead of June 6th on Midsummer Eve. Midsummer can also be referred to as St. Hans Day. The Swedes are proud and happy celebrating in mid-summer.