Happy Midsummer!

The longest day of the year has already come and gone, but now Midsummer is here! While many countries celebrate Midsummer, I most closely associate it with Sweden, where it is one of the year’s biggest — and most important — holidays. Skansen, an open-air museum that could (maybe) be compared to Colonial Williamsburg, has a huge Midsummer celebration, and the website provides lots of information on Midsummer activities and the holiday itself. Every year, the Consulate General of Sweden hosts a huge Midsummer Celebration in Battery Park. It’s reportedly the biggest Midsummer celebration outside Sweden, with an average of 4,000 people attending each year! I haven’t been, but I imagine fun is had by all, even if it gets dark by 10 p.m.

Last summer, I spent Midsummer in the Swedish archipelago, with my parents, my host family from when I studied abroad in Stockholm my junior year of college, and all of their friends. It was, and forever will be, one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and a pretty perfect way to spend a holiday where you eat and drink and sing snapsvisor and laugh until 4 in the morning. Part of what made is so wonderful was getting to spend it with my parents, my Swedish family, and old and new friends.

As you may know, the Nordic countries are rewarded in the summer for the few hours of daylight they get during the winter. Last year, I believe it got dark for about 45 minutes around 1 a.m., and it was fully light out again by 3 a.m. I think I made it until about 4:30 a.m., when I realized I just couldn’t stay awake any more. I believe I was up by 7:30, though.

Stay up late, eat some jordgubbstårta, spend time with your friends and family, be sure to find a maypole to dance around!

As they say in Swedish, Glad midsommar!

All photos taken by Taking of Toast.

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