Swedish ‘midsommer’ is the longest day of the year and also the first day of summer, believe it or not, even though it is at the end of June.
My idea of Swedish summer was basically based off of the banned German Ikea commercial, which is what many non-Swedes also believe.
I went to an new friend’s cottage, which is what most Swedes do (not go to my friend’s cottage, of course). The city of Stockholm was empty. It basically looked like a zombie apocalypse. You know when the street lights change to green and no one is there to go.
But I was advised to bring a ‘Swedish Midsummer starter kit.’ This consisted of the following:
1. Bug spray
2. Rain jacket (If Stockholm is anything like Seattle-I get it!)
3. Your own booze (I guess no one can buy enough because people drink like fish)
4. Snapps (38% vodka seasoned with cumin, anis and fisherman’s breath)
5. A life jacket (not sure why, as everyone just dove in regardless of their clothes and wallet)
6. Condoms (No worries, I used #1 to ward off the Swedish men so there was no #6 ever happening)
Usually Swedes dance around a Maypole that is supposed to represent the male anatomy impregnating Mother Earth. This is very cult-ish, as they sing songs about frogs that have no eyes and mimic the same with hand gestures. Not gonna lie, I would have danced like a blind frog too after some of those anis flavored snapps.
Women put flower circlets in their hair, and act like little fairy nymphs as they frolic in the long grasses of Sweden gathering a bouquet of flowers to put under their pillow. This is supposed to allow them to dream of their future husband, and if they do not dream about him–I guess they picked the wrong flower.
My midsummer was full of dancing to Swedish House Mafia, making new friends, and reminding myself of how amazing the world is when the sun never fully sets in the summers of Sweden.