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Dr. Morgan Riggs

The Swedish guide to midsummer celebrations

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Hi there old and new friends of dayzrp.

As we are getting closer and closer to summer, I would like to tell you a little bit about how we celebrate midsummer in Sweden.

I am going to go trough a few different topics in this thread.

  • Tradition background
  • Food and drink
  • Clothing
  • Music, dance and celebrations

I hope that you'll like it.

1. Tradition background

When viewed from a astronomical point of view is the midsummer day the lightest day a year, meaning that it is the longest day a year for us living on the most northern places, north of the north arctic circle. Because of many stone monuments that has been standing for thousands of years which our ancestors used to find out which were the longest day a year, we can assume that the celebration has been going on for a very long period of time. Under the bronze age in northern Scandinavia, sun worship was common in Sweden at this time. This has been proved by many "rune"-writings which were made by the vikings at this age. We do not really know how people celebrated at this day of year, but we no for a fact that it was the celebration of new birth and life and that offer rites were common events during these celebrations. The oldest proof of this comes from a script at the time 1200, when Christians tried to forbid these rites and instead start to celebrate, christmas and easter.

This should not be confused with the Christian way of celebration midsummer, be cause they are celebrating it of totally different reasons. The day is Johannes day, 24 of june.

The Swedish midsummer tradition is usually connected to the midsummer pole. The pole looks like a cross with two circles of flowers and branches of birch leafs bound around them, hanging on each edge of the cross.

midsommarst%C3%A5ng.gif

The midsummer pole itself has different stories behind it. IT has been confirmed that the midsummer pole has existed since atleast the 1300 and forward. Some old runes from Viking age describes, what seems to be the pole, as a mans genitals, pointing downwards to the ground. At that time, the genitals of the man was usually connected as being the symbol of birth/rebirth which links it to the growth and come back of nature. Other stories goes the other way saying that it is the cross of Christianity, which makes it confusing because of the Christians in Sweden was trying to ban this celebration pole around the 1600. The pole it self comes in different forms but usually follows the same cross with rings around it.

2. Food and drink

During the celebrations, the dinner usually consists of, pickled herring put in different kinds of marinade. Sour-cream and chives are commonly mixed together as a fresh sauce used together with fresh potatoes. What makes this potato so special is due to it being harvested before full growth. It has a sweet and good taste to it with a thin scale. Strawberries are also usually served with some ice cream or a cake.

These are the key dishes for a midsummer evening dinner, but other sorts of food is common as well. Such as smaller types of sausages and of course Swedish meatballs.

HVT26Midsommarmat.jpg

Drinks that are being served are usually different summer soft drinks. Other stronger drinks are also served. But most significant for midsummer celebration is the "Snaps" drink which is not exactly the same as the English Schnapps but a bit different. The "Snaps" are usually coming in smaller bottles with different flavors. It has a high alcohol percentage and is usually just enough for a few mouths before the bottle is empty. Larger bottles can also be bought but the smaller once with different flavors are more commonly used. It could be described as flavored vodka with bitter tones. the "snaps" glass are usually small and you swallow it all at once after everyone has sung a song. There are up to 15 different songs for every (if you can make it) 15 glasses of "snaps".

Here is one of the most traditional songs, sung at the first snaps you drink.

[video=youtube]

3. Clothing

Today most people dress up in finer clothing during midsummer celebrations. There is not really a dress-code but a more proper type of clothing is recommended for the dinner. A suit or a nice shimmy/shirt is recommended for the man and a dress for the lady.

Another thing which is commonly used by ladies is a hand picked flower circle that is being put on her head. it is a circlet of hand picked summer flowers and birch leafs.

krans.jpg

Something which were more commonly worn earlier in time was the Swedish folk clothing, which you see some people still sticking to the tradition but is not necessary.

2667_158623665696_532175696_6233327_2426023_n.jpg

svensk_79972399.jpg

I am not certain of when the folk clothing we are using were made, but I assume it has been developed and been changing over the years. The closest resembles to the Swedish folk clothing comes from the late 1600 and/to mid 1700 Carolin army during Carl the twelfth ruled over Sweden and the Scandinavian Empire which he saw to create(Carolus Rex)

v-18-Karoliner.jpg

222950_10150200701802277_847832276_6682510_7433382_n.jpg

4. Music, dance and celebrations

The music usually consists of happy and humorous lyrics. These songs are often very silly and is perfect after a few to many drinks. These songs are played during the dance around the midsummer pole. There are many different dance steps for everyone song. But one of the most famous one which always appears during a midsummer pole dance is the "Små grodorna" dance and song. "Små grodorna" means, the small frogs. In order to dance the "små grodorna" dance, you need to sing along. The song goes like this.

Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.

Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.

Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.

Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.

Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,

kou ack ack ack ack kaa.

Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,

kou ack ack ack ack kaa.

It can be transferred to: small frogs are silly to see, and that they do not have any ears or tails. The song also consists of sounds which the frog makes.

Here is a video that shows this silly, but still very amusing dance

[video=youtube]

It is important to follow the dance moves by flapping your hands over your head while singing that the frog has no ears, and then moving your hands to your back when singing that they have no tails. When the "frog sounds" starts, you need to jump around the pole like a frog.

To finalize this guide to the Swedish midsummer I want to tell you that there are a few other traditions at this evening. For ladies, it is said that if you would pick 7 different flowers and put them all under your pillow before going to sleep, you'll see the man you will marry in your dreams.

A big happy midsummer to all of you, and if you ever want to experience Swedish midsummer, I'll have my door open for my flat and my sofa ready for staying.

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Guest   
Guest

Great clan concept :troll:

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enar21    1

eeeeeeeey just realised we're a bit weird...

Everyone loves the "små grodorna" though

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enar21    1

So, Sweden= Meatballs and Lingonberries? :P

I've taught you well.

2190__h=x_dsc_0422.jpg

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Guest MARTiN   
Guest MARTiN

10/10 i will surely have use of this soon ;)

Glad nästan midsommar snart!

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Quickan    3

You forgot about the most important things; getting shitdrunk and then take home a lady to get some rajtantajtan.

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Sir Doctor    3

It's the middle of winter here....

:(

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June    0

is the Russian version of the "Små grodorna" song, if anyone want to be a bit cross-cultural in this year's celebration.

The lyrics should be easy to follow even while drunk.

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enar21    1

You forgot about the most important things; getting shitdrunk and then take home a lady to get some rajtantajtan.

*awkward silence*

Well it isn't any traidition!

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Guest   
Guest

Get drunk and fight, it's tradition.

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Mellstrom    21

Glad midsommar!!!

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Rolle    2471

Get drunk and fight, it's tradition.

This, every damn year.

Glad midsommar!

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   1

You forgot about the most important things; getting shitdrunk and then take home a lady to get some rajtantajtan.

some rajtantajtan it always good on the midsommar kväll

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Isak    0

Anyone intrested in my midsummer videos. Mostly contains drunk swedish youngsters chasing geese. I'll post them anyways... whoo midsummer

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Sly    1

Hopefully everyone had a great midsummer!:beer:

Anyone intrested in my midsummer videos. Mostly contains drunk swedish youngsters chasing geese. I'll post them anyways... whoo midsummer

Go ahead and post one:lol:

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Guest   
Guest

sjøtbullår

Nailed it

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