If you ever want to see adult Swedes jump around like frogs, then come to Sweden in late June.
Solstice is an astronomical event that occurs when the sun to reaches its northernmost extreme. Summer solstice in the northern hemisphere will happen around June 21st and we will experience this year’s longest day and shortest night. In Sweden this day is called Midsummer’s Eve and is celebrated throughout the country with food, drink, song and dance.
This is the day when almost all eat herring for lunch, along with new potatoes, sour cream and chives. Swedish schnapps also has its place on the table. Then strawberries for dessert, preferably the Swedish ones that take a little longer to ripen but that are all the sweeter.
But what about the frogs?
Well, to celebrate a real Midsummer’s Eve, you need a Midsummer Pole, decorated with leaves and flowers. Then adults and children dance around, around and sing old familiar songs, including one involving small frogs.
Have a look:
It is common to make a Midsummer wreath of flowers to put on your head, particularly among children and women but also men.
There is an old legend which says that the girl who picks seven types of flowers that night and then falls asleep without saying a single word, will dream of her future love…