So it may seem peculiar that the Swedes also celebrate a holiday rooted in pagan rituals that predate Christianity. Celebrated on the Friday closest to the summer solstice 21st of June it has been a national holiday since the s and is a mix of new and old customs, including some that may seem strange to a foreign on-looker. For Swedes however, it has become an opportunity to mark the start of summer with friends and family and to enjoy dancing, singing and silly games along with a feast of herring and snaps on a day when the sun hardly sets. Many think the day is connected to ancient fertility rituals that were believed to guarantee a successful harvest. Bonfires were often lit to ward off evil sprits and the darkness of the winter months, a practice dating back to the 6th century AD. These bonfires are still lit in other Nordic countries who also mark the solstice, although the pagan elements of Midsummer have been blurred with the feast of St John the Baptist on the 24th of June. However, it is only really in Sweden where Midsummer has remained a major annual event, with uniquely Swedish features and many of the ethereal elements holding firm.
Midsummer is Scandinavia’s most popular seasonal festival after Christmas. A traditional celebration of the Summer solstice, Midsummer is the longest day of the year June In Sweden, Midsummer is even celebrated as a national holiday also see Scandinavian national holidays. Celebrating the Summer Solstice. The celebration of the Summer solstice is a very ancient practice, dating back to pre-Christian times.
But the summer solstice, or Midsummer’s Eve, is one of the biggest and most the darkness of the winter months, a practice dating back to the 6th century AD.
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People 8 comments. You might have heard that celebrating Midsummer is a huge thing in the Nordic countries. Like the name suggests, Midsummer is the public holiday which celebrates summer and light. During the Midsummer week, Finland enjoys the longest daylight hours of the year. The importance of Midsummer is very close to Christmas, which wins the prize of the biggest national holiday only by a nose.
Similar to Christmas, the biggest day of Midsummer is actually the eve, not the day. Midsummer Eve is always a Friday. Follow me on Instagram and add more Finland to your life instantly! Midsummer was a pagan summer festival to celebrate good harvest and fertility. It was a party initially held to honor Ukko, the king of the gods in Finnish mythology.
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Midsummer’s Eve is an old tradition in Scandinavia, and Denmark, solstice is a very ancient practice, dating back to pre-Christian times.
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