The first glögg of the year has just been tasted at our house. It smelled amazing, tasted alright (not the best glögg I’ve ever had) and it was dark outside so I pretended it was winter instead of summer (I’m blonde so it worked). In other words, quite a success, but I did miss the pepparkaka and lussebulle
Just like NK in Sweden have their traditional Christmas window, so has Myer here in Australia. We went and had a look after we went out to a friends birthday dinner last night. I loved it, and I got a little bit of Christmas feeling which otherwise is hard given it’s basically summer.
Watch a behind the scene video below
Only a couple of weeks to go until Midsummer so time to prepare yourself and if you don’t know what you need to do here is a little guide - Swedish Midsummer for Dummies.
I just keep going with weird Swedish Midsummer traditions. The night of Midsummer Eve is said to be a magical night and according to old folklore young girls should pick seven different flowers (some believe it to be nine) and put under their pillow. If she does she’ll dream of the man she’ll marry. And yeah, the flowers have to be picked during silence too, if not the magic will be broken and it won’t work. Some also say that she has to clime as many fences as the number of flowers too.
Midsummer is coming up, on Friday to be exact. I don’t think non Swedes understand quite how big this day is for us. We don’t celebrate our own National Day half as much and all other public holidays look pale in comparison. Therefore I must say that this year’s celebration, Simon’s first, is a big fail. I’ve been too occupied with work and worrying about other stuff so I’ve sort of forgot about it and therefore I haven’t arranged for us to go to a nice summer cottage with friends or go out in the archipelago. But at least we’re not going to sit here alone, we’ll be heading to Göteborg to hang with my brother and his friends. I’m sure it will be fun but it won’t be the traditional midsummer party that I would have loved to show Simon.
Walpurgis Night bonfire. (Sweden)
It’s the 25th of March today and that according to the Swedish calender that means it’s Våffeldagen (the Waffle Day)! It’s also the Christian Feast of Annunciation (in Swedish: Marie Bebådelsedagen/Vårfrudagen). Most people don’t particular celebrate the feast of Annunciation but the day is considered to be the start of spring in Sweden so that’s worth celebrating. And what could possibly be a better way to celebrate it in than eating waffles?!
Swedish waffles are shaped as hearts and you can either eat them whole (5 small hearts connected) or tear them apart and eat them individually and of course you need to eat them with traditional toppings which are jam (in the north normally cloudberry jam, in Swedish: hjortronsylt), whipped cream or ice cream and maybe some fresh strawberries. Yummy!
Since we’re on the road we’ll see if there will be any waffles today otherwise I guess we just have to celebrate this very important day next week when we’re back home again.
Midsummer’s Eve or Midsommarafton as we Swedes call it is an important day of the year and it always fall on the Friday between 19 and 26 June. If the Norwegians have 17 May, their National Day, as a huge festive celebration then Midsummer is the Swedish equivalence. It’s more of a National Day to us than 6 June is.
My favourite Midsummers are spent with friends somewhere in the archipelago in someone’s summer cottage or maybe on a boat, eating matjes herring fillets with new potatoes, sour creme and chives, eating strawberries with whipped cream, drinking rosé wine and maybe a schnapps or two, playing games and maybe even dancing around the maypole, perhaps swimming in the ocean (if it’s not to freezing cold) and just relaxing. Read more
It’s April 30th today, in Sweden a day known as Valborgsmässoafton or simply Valborg (in English Walpurgis Night). The day is a festive occasion associated with the bonfires but also singing of traditional songs of Spring and parties of course. The day is particularly popular with students as they have usually just finished their exams and it is a time to let their hair down and enjoy their new found freedoms.
The celebration has ancient traditions possibly going back to pre-Christian times in Europe. The day marks the birth of Saint Walpurga, who is believed to have been born in Devon, England around the year 710. This tradition of lighting bonfires on this day originates from Germany, where they lit bonfires to scare off witches. In Sweden we used to let cows and goats out into the forest on May 1st to begin their summer grazing. The Vikings picked up the habit of lighting bonfires to keep away evil spirits and wild animals so that the livestock would not get harmed. They also used the bonfires to celebrate and hurry up spring, and to purify nature. Read more