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Previously posted in www.planningmexico.com

Last Friday we celebrated Midsummer in Sweden. This is, after Christmas, our most celebrated holiday. And it is always raining, so also this year.
Thursday it was a beautiful sunny day with blue skies. Saturday was a little cloudy, but warm and nice without rain. Friday – it poured down…

Photo: Dan Freed

Photo: Dan Freed

maypoleWe had some discussion about this during the day and the constant rain is not that much of a mystery. If we, all over Sweden, place massive fertility symbols in the ground earth should respond and give us the rain needed for good growth.
This is an ancient pagan ritual and has been done for centuries. With the entrance of Christianity the church tried to steal this celebration and transformed our symbol to a cross. The people replied with hanging two giant rings on the arms and just like that we have our fertility symbol back.

We planned to go by bicycle to the place of celebration, just a few kilometers outside of Malmö. When it was time to go the rain had stopped and we started our journey, we had not gone more than a quarter of the way when it poured down and we decided to go back and take a bus.
Well back home we were soaking wet and if I had been alone I would have stayed home grouching the rest of the evening. Luckily miss Z is here and I wanted to show here a real Swedish Midsummer, the rain is part of it.
When we finally arrived at the allotment area the rain had stopped and just an hour later it was a dazzling sunshine and the evening turned out to be great.

Everybody was there, we had Swedes, Danish, Norwegian, Mexican, Japanese and a Zombie hunter. With a mix of Swedish traditional pickled herring, Mexican style chicken and snaps, both the obligatory Swedish and a Mexican liqueur, we sang in Swedish and Spanish waiting for the grass to dry. The rain was soon forgotten.

Photo: Dan Freed

Photo: Dan Freed

Smelling the Elderberry flowers. Growing in the wild in Sweden this flower and the berries is used to make Elderberry lemonade or spice the moonshine.

Photo: Dan Freed

Photo: Dan Freed

Celebrating an ancient tradition of course we have to play an ancient game – Kubb.
I am not totally clear with the rules, but we trow a wooden stick on a wooden log. There is a lot of wood involved, but forest is something we still have plenty of in Sweden.
The origin is a little unclear, the modern version was revived on the Swedish island of Gotland.

Strategy chat, goes something like, “hit the log”.

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After the exercise all harsh words was forgotten and forgiven. We gathered up for desert, more snaps and strawberries with ice cream and cream.

Photo: Dan Freed

Photo: Dan Freed

Later on the more foreign guests wanted to see something very traditional Swedish. A trip to the local open-air dance floor is probably one of the most Swedish sights you can find a summer night.
Even if it was getting a little late, there were still some people doing the “Små grodorna” (the little frogs), without competition the number one midsummer dance in Sweden.

little frogs

Photo: Dan Freed

After a long day with Swedish traditions miss Z is still here, I guess it is not that traumatizing I remembered it to be.

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