Friday, 25 June 2010

Glad Midsommar!


Today in Sweden, my family and friends are celebrating Midsummer. It's a holiday originating in pagan times to celebrate the summer solstice and to sacrifice in the sign of the norse godess of fertility, Freya. It's a celebration of the longest day of summer, a day to dress your maypole (or in my family's tradition, an old lamp post in the front yard) with flowers and dance around it, a feast when you eat new potatoes, herring and freshly picked strawberries, and a time when all the girls put flowers in their hair. Ever since I was a little girl it's been my absolute favorite holiday.

One of the traditional things to do as a young, unmarried girl is to go out in the midsummer night in silence and pick seven different flowers. You then place the flowers under your pillow and that night you will supposedly dream of the boy whom you'll marry. I have many memories of me and my sister picking flowers after dark trying not to giggle and break the silence, but I can't remember any dreams of a future husband.

In 2004 on midsummer's day I married Diver Dude for the second time. Surrounded by family and friends, standing in front of a dressed maypole, we repeated our vows to each other. It was a perfect day. It rained a lot, and the priest was so nervous about speaking english he nearly forgot to bless our rings and pause for my sister's solo, but it was perfect. 

I may never have dreamt about who my husband would be, but every day I wake up next to him I know he's The One. 

Today we celebrate our sixth anniversary of our second wedding and in spite of being in England I'll put flowers in my hair, eat some good traditional swedish food and possibly also dance around some kind of phallic symbol :)
Glad Midsommar! Happy Midsummer!

20 comments:

  1. Wow, enjoy your sixth second anniversary! it's going to be a fantastic next year, I can feel it!

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  2. Happy 6th girl! Super S and just celebrated our 14th this week too. I did not do any phalic dancing though LOL! Happy anniversary my friend. xoxo

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  3. Happy anniversary! I'm so glad things are getting better for you and your DH. Hope you have a nice weekend.

    Take care.

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  4. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY...this whole post made me SMILE WIDE AND BIG. What a beautiful tradition, what a beautiful way to start your "NEW SUMMER" and all hat's going to come this year.

    I can't stop smiling with all the HOPE it brings me for you. Dance, sweet girl, Dance. :)

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  5. Happy Anniversary! Three years ago, the hubs and I had the pleasure of being in Sweden for Midsummer, and it was wonderful! I dance around the maypole with all the kids, and had a blast! Thanks for bringing back the memories.

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  6. How Beautiful!! I have always loved Midsummer. Happy Anniversary!!! And hopefully the fertility dancing works some magic this year!! Good Luck!! Love & Hugs

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  7. Happy midsommar and happy anniversary! Thank you for sharing how you celebrate midsommar in Sweden. It's lovely to think Fionn was born on such a special day in Sweden.

    xx

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  8. Happy Anniversary! I know in some parts of the US people dance around the maypole, but it's pretty rare. It sounds like a wonderful holiday!

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  9. I'm 1/4 Swedish on my Minnesota mother's side, but I guess the midsummer celebrations didn't travel across the Atlantic with my family -- so this was really interesting to read about!

    When I was a girl, the tradition was that when you went to a wedding, you usually received a piece of cake (generally fruitcake, wrapped in plastic wrap & a paper lace doily with ribbon). You were supposed to sleep with it under your pillow & dream of the man you were going to marry. Nobody said if it was one night or how long, so I slept with several slices of cake under my pillow for a LONG time, lol. I think I was hoping I'd dream of Donny Osmond & could then says, "SEE??!" lol When I think about it now -- stale, squished (& probably moldy) cake under my pillow -- I cringe!!

    Happy anniversary! : )

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  10. Happy Anniversary. What a sweet and wonderful celebration! Any day when you get to put flowers in your hair and dance around any kind of pole.. is a good one in my eyes :)

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  11. I have never heard of Midsommar! It sounds great. You are such a great writer. I love reading your posts.

    Sorry I've been such a rotten blogger lately. I hope you are doing better. :)

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  12. Happy Anniversary!! What an awesome celebration Midsommar must be!! My great-grandma's family came to the US from Sweden and I remember all her wonderful Swedish cooking. Yum!!

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  13. Happy anniversary! I hope your dancing pleased Freya and she rewards you richly in the coming year x

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  14. Happy Midsummer! What a wonderful event to be able to celebrate :). - Tkeys

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  15. That sounds so amazing! Happy Anniversry!!!!

    ICLW
    http://daega99-arewethereyet.blogspot.com/

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  16. Happy Anniversary! What a great holiday! Sounds like so much fun! Happy ICLW! (#75)

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  17. Hi, here from Mel's SQ.
    First, happy 6th anniversary! May you share many, many years of bliss!

    Your Swedish Midsommar sounds more intimate. Where I live now, in Germany, Sommerfest is way more popular and more community oriented.

    In my country, somewhere in Eastern Europe, more precisely in the region where I was born, we also have a popular festivity for the entire community's benefit, celebrating the summer solstice. It is so popular that people ignore now that it is the beginning of summer that it celebrates. ;-))
    We also do the trick with flowers under the pillow to dream about The One. Girls are gullible that way everywhere, I think. ;-)

    I love finding similar traditions in different corners of the world. ;-)
    Best of luck to you!

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