Celebrated on a Friday between June 19 and June 25, Midsummer is a solstice holiday tradition that originated in Sweden but is now celebrated across Scandinavia and North Europe.
Midsummer is considered the longest day of the year, and in Sweden, most people travel to the countryside to celebrate with a lunch party and a maypole with flowers to dance around.
In Northern Sweden, the sun never sets around this time (hence the term “midnight sun”) and the party continues well after midnight.
Midsummer marks the midpoint of the growing season, where flowers and crops are blooming at full swing, so the traditional festivals of Scandinavia celebrate the coming harvest season, hence the maypole, flowers, and honoring growth.
According to almanac.com, “for ancient pagan Celtic peoples… the summer solstice is a magical time, one of new beginnings celebrated with bonfires and festivals.”
While Midsummer is a national holiday in Sweden, other countries around the world also have celebrations to honor solstice tradition. Check out some of those traditions in this article.
This year’s Midsummer is tomorrow, Friday, June 24. Today’s day, June 23, is typically known as Midsummer Eve, is also often celebrated in some countries. It’s a great time to get out in nature and have a picnic (heat permitting for those of us in the American South!) or even host a bonfire.
Whether you celebrate Midsummer or not, we’re halfway to Autumn when the days will begin to get shorter, so be sure to soak up the sunshine as much as you can!