I celebrated the Midsummer in a city called Gälve. Before coming back, I did not even know it is further than Stockholm, hah! It was a long drive to get there, but the scenery in the country side of Sweden we passed through was so green and beautiful. It was sort of a compensation to the fatigue trip.
My friends stopped at the city Avesta to show me the biggest Dalahäst (Dala-horse, which it would be in English) statue in the world. It is called Dalahäst because it is from the area named Dalarna in Sweden. I am not sure that if it is correct that the statue is six meters hight. I felt it was higher than that.
In Sweden, the midsummer is a big festival. The closest Friday after the summer solstice is the midsommarafton (midsummer evening), on which the celebration is. The tradition for midsummer evening is to have a big pole with two rings, decorated with flowers and branches, around which people dance and have fun. The event organized by the community was in the central park in Gälve. Performers in traditional clothes started to dance first, then everyone joined. The traditional clothes were said to be very exclusive, all hand-made.
There is a myth, probably just a myth, that the pole stands for genitals. So that is to say that the whole ceremony has derived from the worship of fertility.
People danced around it, imitating piggies, frogs, birds and possibly other animals. It was really really fun to watch.
It is indeed a romantic festival, Swedes say. An old tradition is that people pick 7 kinds of flowers and put them under the pillows in the midsummer evening. Then people will dream about the ones they are going to marry.
The traditional food are herring (sill in Swedish) or salmon (lax in Swedish), fresh potatoes and strawberries as desert.
Midsummer of this year is over, the sun sets earlier and earlier each day. I did not dream about anything special that night instead my back hurt a lot because of sleeping on an air mattress. Despite all these, it is unforgettable experience of Sweden. The taste of fresh potato and sweet strawberry will be the good memory of a whole year.
On the way back to Halmstad. Home, sweet home.