|Swedish Traditions by Jan-Öjvind Swahn|
I realized that I hadn't written anything about the Swedish holidays that I have experienced since moving here. Last year my friend showed me her copy of Swedish Traditions - which she bought to show to her family back in Canada. It was beautiful and helpful, and I decided that I really needed one for myself. Unfortunately, it has become rather hard to find, but if you are able to get your hands on a copy, I highly recommend purchasing it!
An interesting thing about some of the more popular traditions - like the crayfish parties that started in August - is that a lot of Swedes have forgotten why they celebrate them. Swedish Traditions gives you a little bit of history and some tips and hints on how to celebrate the right way. If you can't find the book, you can also check out Sweden.se for videos and articles that can also help answer your questions.
This year I was fortunate enough to not only arrive in time for midsummer, but I was able to celebrate it in one of the "most Swedish" places possible - Dalarna.
|My first midsummer!|
Afterwards we came back to the apartment, and prepared our lunch/dinner/midnight snack. Since we were so far north, the sun never actually sets, and it is amazing to see. When we weren't eating, we drank elderberry snaps, played games and sang drinking songs. Many people in Sweden are able to play instruments, so it's not strange when you go to a party and are presented with a book of songs, so you can sing along.
The next day (after we recovered from our late night of reveling), we headed up to the Dala horse factory in Nusnäs. What is a Dala horse?
|THIS is a Dala horse!|
The rest of the weekend involved resting, eating candy and watching a Norwegian movie about zombie Nazis. Yes, zombie Nazis. I can now say that I have seen every kind of zombie out there.
So that was the big holiday of the summer, and it is quite an experience. If you are planning a visit to Sweden around midsummer, you may want to take into account that the larger cities will be mostly shut down because everyone has left to the countryside to celebrate.
There aren't many more holidays until Christmas starts, but I am thinking of throwing a Thanksgiving party in November, since the one Crystal and I threw in January was such a big hit. I have recently found a webstore in Uppsala that carries many of the American necessities for Thanksgiving, so I will write more about that as I am putting it together.
Have a great week!