Midsummer is celebrated to welcome summertime and the season of fertility. It is the longest and the brightest day of the year. A unique and important cultural information that is very important to most Scandinavians and to all that are planning to live in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland or Iceland. There can never be better way to celebrate the longest day of the year especially when the sun and warm temperature were at the peak, compared to almost average 20 hours of darkness in the winter with snowflakes or frost on the ground for almost half of the year.
Midsummer, the magical night when rituals can be perform to look into the future, when family and friends gather in the country side to enjoy good food, drinks and traditional music while the city remain quiet and look deserted, when love is in the air and the start of the summer holiday.
Here are some of the traditions that are associated with the midsummer in Scandinavia countries:
- Herbs picked at Midsummer were highly potent and water from the spring could bring good health.
- Wreath placed over the houses and barns were supposed to bring good fortune and health to people and livestock.
- A wreath or a bouquet with seven or nine different flowers is powerful if you pick them all alone and speak to no one. If you pick them from churchyard, the power increases even more.
- If a young or unmarried girl put seven or nine kinds of flowers (and jump over the seven round pole fences) and then sleep with the flowers under a pillow that she will dream of her future spouse that night.
The celebration of the Midsummer Day is a public holiday across the Scandinavia countries with similar beliefs. In Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, the bonfire tradition, which is particularly common along the coast, is seen as a protection against evil spirit of the witches which are believed to be especially active on the midsummer night. In Sweden, the main celebration includes erecting midsummer pole “midsommarstång” and dancing around it.