In the UK, we tend to celebrate the arrival of summer with a BBQ in the back garden, or perhaps a trip to the local beer garden. In the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Iceland, the beginning of the warmer season is marked by a range of festivals and traditions, ranging from the ancient to the contemporay. Here's our list of Scandinavian summer celebrations no to miss.
Midsummer’s Eve, Sweden
Perhaps the most famous of all of these traditions is Midsummer, which takes place throughout Sweden in mid-June. In the south of the country, the sun only sets for an hour or two, and in the north, it doesn't set at all. Midsummer occurs on a Friday between 19th and 25thJune, and large groups of family and friends will come together to create maypoles covered with flowers and take part in traditional dancing.
As with any real celebration, Midsummer involves plenty of food and feasting. A typical menu will include boiled potatoes, pickled herring with fresh dill, as well as salmon and vegetables. This might be followed by a dessert of cream and the first strawberries of the summer. Plenty of beer and schnapps are consumed on Midsummer, usually accompanied by raucous drinking songs and plenty of outdoor dancing.