Full Guide to Swedish Midsummer
Midsummer is just around the corner and celebrating it in style is one of the most inherently Swedish things you can do. We love this holiday over here and take it about as serious as Christmas. After all, the Swedish Midsummer marks the start of the looong summer holidays for most people with a full-time job.
A lot of Scandinavia enthusiasts dream of visiting Sweden to celebrate, but be warned: Most Swedish families celebrate with friends and family in their summer houses in the countryside. This means that the cities are empty and shops close early. If you’re visiting around that time, make sure to plan accordingly and check for open Midsummer celebrations in your area. For example, Dalarna in central Sweden is beautiful in June and they host a great number of Midsummer celebrations every year. This is hardly surprising though, since Dalarna is thought to be the place where it all started.
No matter where you’re going to be, here are the basics of celebrating Midsummer in true Swedish fashion:
Have a flower crown!
This is a non-negotiable term of the Midsummer experience. Without a flower crown you’re basically just hosting a barbecue with friends, you heathen. According to tradition, you go on a walk on Friday night and pick flowers for your crown. According to legend, unmarried women should find seven types of flowers and put them under their pillow when they go to sleep. If they do it right, they will see their future husband in their dreams.
Dance around the Midsummer pole!
It’s not really Midsummer unless everyone (and I mean everyone) is dancing around the Midsummer pole to celebrate fertility. This dance is preferably done half drunk and in the silliest manner possible. After all, you’re going to sing about small frogs and leap around the pole. Watch the video above if you don’t believe me!
Eat lots of food!
Another key element of any good midsummer celebration is the food, to be had with lots of aquavit. This is serious business over here and most prepare a whole buffet to mark the occasion. Traditional Swedish Midsummer buffets are quite heavy on fish and meat though: Staples include eggs, salmon, different kinds of pickled herring, meatballs, sausages and – the centerpiece – the first Swedish strawberries of the year. There are, however, lots of inventive ways to veganise these dishes and have a meat-free midsummer instead. I’ve tested a few recipes for your inspiration – all vegan as always. <3
Vegan “Gubbröra” – A creamy salad with tofu
Stuffed Tomato Halves – Tomato halves stuffed with avocado cream
Vegan Gravad Lax – The meat-free version of the classic cured salmon
Pickled “Herring” – Pickled “herring” two ways
Swedish No-meat-balls – Vegan meatballs with chickpeas
Vegan Meringues – These beauties are based on aquafaba
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