Midsummer Day

Midsummer Day Quick Facts - NO

AKA NameSankhans
Hashtags#SummerSolstice, #Hootchin
Related Hashtags#SummerSolstice
2023 Date24 June 2023
2024 Date24 June 2024
Midsummer's Day

Midsummer Day History

Midsummer Day represents the high point of summer and the longest day of the year. In many parts of the Scandinavian and Nordic countries, the sun does not set for days or weeks. The celebrations of Midsummer can be traced back to ancient times and the religious and spiritual elements of the day are often associated with fertility and love. The festivities take place in the countryside, meaning the city streets are deserted for a brief period.

Midsummer is celebrated all over northern Europe, the origins are pre-Christian. It is also a celebration of St John, a Christian feast day, this is incorporated into modern times when people eat and drink a lot with friends or family. Midsummer in many countries such as Latvia falls on June 24 in 2016.

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Midsummer Day Facts & Quotes

  • Näcken is the Evil Spirit of the Water in Swedish folklore whom people must watch out for if they’re taking a swim during Midsummer.
  • Branches from birch trees are placed around the front door to the home, welcoming guests.
  • In Latvia, couples hold hands and jump over a bonfire to seal their bind with the magical force.
  • Midsummer is the time of the summer solstice, in the northern hemisphere this festival varies between June 21 and 24 depending on which specific geographical locale
  • The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Midsummer Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Visit the vast countryside and enjoy the natural beauty of the north. Midsummer is a peak time for the Nordic nations to get sunlight, they have days that eclipse nights. It is also one of the warmest times a year and allows access to many remote places that aren't accessible during the long snowy winter months.
  • Eat, drink and be merry. Try some typical dishes for Midsummer, have you tried Leipäjuusto (bread cheese), pickled herring, beer, schnapps, Mustikkapiirakka (blueberry pie), or Pyttipannu (bubble and squeak)?
  • Get married! Like Whitsun Midsummer is a very popular time of year for weddings. Despite not being very religious, the Swedish love a big wedding.
  • Pick seven different types of flower. If you're a woman, Midsummer is said to be a time when future husbands are revealed if you place flowers under your pillow.
  • Read some magical literature to celebrate pagan history. Our favourites: Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald and Sag Harbour by Colson Whitehead.

Midsummer Day References and Related Sites

finland.fi: Midsummer in Finland
sweden.se: Midsummer in Sweden

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