The Ultimate Guide to the Swedish Midsummer!

Swedish Midsummer or ‘Midsommar’- the beautiful celebration of summer solstice returns to Sweden once again. Swedes get together in a park or on a field to celebrate the year’s longest day. The celebration is held every year on Friday between June 19th – 25th. It’s one of the biggest events of the year! We prepared this guide for you so you can join in on this wonderful tradition and celebrate Midsummer the Swedish way.

Pick a location

The best thing you can do is accept an invitation from your Swedish friend. Swedes often celebrate Midsummer in a summer house or by visiting their family in the countryside. That is how you can get the most authentic Midsummer experience. But if you don’t have that opportunity, don’t worry, Manu and I got you covered. Every city offers some kind of Midsummer celebration. Manu celebrated hers in a park in Lund and I got to enjoy one on a field at the beautiful Nääs Slott. Make sure to check out the events in your city to pick the right location.

A field with red building and people on a picnic.
Nääs Slott. Photo: Annamaria

Dress up nicely

Next step is to dress up. Choose lighter colours or floral designs and you are good to go. Midsummer is a nice happy occasion, not too formal or too casual – just lagom. Layering with a light jacket or sweater is a good idea for cooler evenings. You can get inspired by the outfits that students wear during summer in Sweden.

A girl and a guy taking a mirror selfie in colorful outfits.
Photo: Patrik Moravcik

Buy or make a flower crown

The traditional way to make a flower crown (‘midsommarkrans’) involves picking cute flowers in a field and then gathering your friends to make the flower crowns together. Nowadays many people also buy flowers to make their flower crowns more beautiful. If you are not so handy with DIY, then there is always the option to buy an artificial flower crown from a store.

Flower crown and Maypole.
Photo: Manu

I’m not so handy so I still didn’t manage to make my own flower crown but incorporating flowers into your hairstyle was also a good idea. It turned out quite cute.

Prepare a feast

Pickled herring or sill, knäckebröd, salmon, boiled potatoes with dill, and strawberry cake is the typical Swedish Midsummer menu. We managed to bake the salmon but instead of strawberry cake, we opted for pancakes with strawberries. I have to say that they were really delicious.

Strawberry cake and flowers.
Photo: Manu

Manu chose to buy sill and have some berries and strawberry cake after as a yummy dessert. I think eating berries is the best way to celebrate summer, honestly. The food is often enjoyed outdoors, with friends and family gathered around a large table or on a picnic blanket.

Berries in paper boxes.
Photo: Manu
Two girls on a picnic wearing floral dress and taking a selfie.
Photo: Manu

Dance around the Maypole!

Last but not least, the Midsummer celebration involves raising and dancing around the Maypole known as ‘Midsommarstången’. They Maypole is a tall wooden pole decorated with flowers and it plays a key role in this celebration. It symbolises fertility but also nature, joy, and festivity. Dancing around the Maypole, singing traditional songs, and enjoying food and drink are all part of the Midsummer celebration. So even if you don’t know the words, don’t be afraid to join in. Midsummer is a celebration open to everyone and it can be really fun when done right!

A girl smiling and dancing with a crowd around a Maypole.
Photo: Patrik Moravcik

Written by Annamaria

24 Jun 2024