Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Glad Midsommar!

I had been dreaming about midsummer ever since I first heard about it.  It sounded exactly like my kind of party: making pretty flower crowns, drinking schnapps while singing songs, playing silly games, dancing around the maypole, swimming in the ice cold lake and dancing until the sun comes up again. Luckily I have some great Swedish friends who invited me (I invited myself but shht!) to celebrate midsummer with them. On the plane to Stockholm I was smiling all the way, feeling extremely excited like a 5-year-old getting a puppy. I promised myself I had to have the full Swedish experience so I couldn't wait to join in with all the midsummer festivities and traditions. 

It started the day before, when we went to the grocery shop to get some food for lunch and for the barbecue. We also went to Systembolaget, the shop where you can buy alcohol (alcohol is only sold there and not in regular supermarkets). Such a weird concept but in away it's good to have all the options right in front of you. 

We went to bed early as we needed a good night's sleep before midsummer. The next day we woke up early, looked at the amazing weather outside and had a big breakfast. We then showered, got dressed, made ourselves pretty, overpacked (sleeping bags, blankets, shoes, extra clothes, bikinis, drinks...) and I went to pick some roses for the flower crowns.

Here's me (on the right) and my two beautiful Swedish friends. The sun was shining bright hence the squinting! 

My friend's mom is an expert at making flower crowns so she made them for us. They were beautiful!

 To follow the flower-theme, we got some rosé packed in a pretty flower box. 

Around 12, we packed the car, made a short stop at the supermarket for some more ice and drove on with the windows open, wind in our hair and great music in the background. 

When we arrived I was amazed at the beauty of the house, the forest and the lake. After having greeted about 50 people it was time for lunch. 

The lunch consisted of traditional Swedish food: sill and matjes (herring), lax (salmon), potatoes with dill, meatballs, sausages, bread, cheese and all kinds of sauces.

We sat down at the long tables and before I could even take a bite of my food, a song booklet along with a shotglass filled with schnapps were pushed into my hands. This went on for the whole lunch! So you'll understand that by the end, we were all happy and cheerful!


After lunch, it was time for more songs and dancing around the maypole. 

Then it was time for the games. Everyone was divided into teams but we only played three games until it kind of fell apart. I like to believe my team won ;) 

After all that eating, drinking, singing and dancing everyone went off to do different things. Some continued to dance, others talked, some went for a swim in the lake... All of the sudden it was time for dinner. The boys handled the barbecue while the girls chatted away over a glass of wine. 

Dinner took place in the barn which was romantically lit with candlelight. 

Speeches were given, songs were sung and I got to showcase my Swedish skills. I sang lambo, which I had been practicing the days before. It's a drinking song where you're being challenged to finish your drink and then you need to stand up on your chair and sing the 'answer'. Some people came up to me saying how good I was so I think I made a good first impression on my new Swedish friends! If you ever go to Sweden for midsummer, lambo is the song you'll need to learn. 

After dinner I didn't take very many photos. There was dessert and the DJ started playing music. Because we were 50 people, everyone was kind of scattered around the house and the barn. Around midnight, I went around to the back of the house to look at the breathtaking view of the lake. 

We then went back to the barn for lots of dancing and chatting. By 5 am it was time for a refreshing swim! Thinking about my promise of getting the full Swedish experience, I changed into my bikini. The water was freezing at first but after a few minutes it felt so refreshing and relaxing. The sunrise was reflecting on the water and it was one of the most beautiful moments.

After a much needed hot shower, we decided to call it a night (or day?) and went on a search to find the last empty beds in the house. Feeling exhausted but truly happy, I fell asleep wishing I could do it all over again. 

I couldn't have wished for a more perfect midsummer!
© whiskers & lions

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