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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Midsommar Afton in Stockholm

We deviated from our usual midsommarafton (midsummer eve) activities as we have close friends from the USA in town and thought we would all enjoy doing a "touristy" midsommar! We headed to Skansen along with the rest of Sweden! One of the great things about this midsommar is that it was actually sunny and warm all day! This totally deviates from tradition as every midsommar we can remember has been cold and rainy for at least a portion of the day! The bright Stockholm sunshine greeted us early in the morning, (like around 2.30 a.m.) and after enduring an extremely long entrance line, we were greeted by these beautiful Swedish flags blowing in the warm breeze with the bright blue sky glistening behind them.
The city sparkled in the background.
As we waited in line to buy our tickets, these adorable Swedish children sporting their lovely midsommar kransar (wreaths) caught our eyes.Once inside the park, we were greeted by a parade of folks dressed in all of the traditional costumes of Sweden. We made our way to the midsommar stång (midsummer pole) where hundreds of folks were taking part in the traditional singing and dancing of midsummer. Swedes love to sing about frogs and pigs and elephants as well as the laundry and playing the fiddle and the flute! It's all a bit nonsensical and quite a bit of fun! The rest of the day was spent wandering around the grounds, taking a peak at the napping brown bears, watching the otters swim in their pools and enjoying the various bits of Sweden that surrounded us. The grass-roofed buildings were a highlight as well as the lovely flower beds. In another part of the park, we stumbled upon another midsommar stång. This one was decorated with little people dolls dressed in typical Swedish costumes. By the days end we had had our fill of fun!
Doug and I are not fans of the typical midsommar meal which consists of various types of herring, cured salmon and dill boiled potatoes. So true to form, we fixed a taco dinner with homemade guacamole that all enjoyed immensely! I'm quite sure we were the only folks in all of Sweden who had Mexican food on midsommar!