June 16, 2017 by Polarn O. Pyret
The Swedish tradition of holding a Midsummer Party is a lovely way of bringing family and friends, young and old together. In Mid-June, school is out and nature has burst into life. It seems like the sun never sets. In fact, in the north of Sweden it doesn’t, and in the south only for an hour or two. This calls for celebration! Whatever the weather decides to do, the celebration goes ahead all across Sweden on Midsummer Eve which is the Friday closest to the summer solstice, this year it is Friday June 23rd. Swedes love Midsummer, and here we’ll show you how to hold a Midsummer party of your own!
The essential item, and takes some effort but believe us it is worth it! We have created a great little instruction card here.
PO.P Tip: Invite your guests to help you make the pole upon arrival and in addition to your magnificent creation. Also ask guests to bring wild flowers or greenery for decoration.
No BBQ to light here! Create a typical Swedish midsummer smorgasbord of various Swedish appetizers such as herring, sour cream and chives, potatoes, salmon, cheese and crisp-breads. Then bring out the meatballs, ham, thinly sliced roast beef and salads. Finish off with classic strawberries and whipped cream. Find recipes online and if you really love a challenge…find a recipe for a ‘Swedish Smorgastarta’, now this will really impress your guests!
Traditionally white, but flowery prints, or just feeling ‘dressed up’ gives ambience to any party. Women and girls wear a head garland of flowers, and after much merriment the men usually end up wearing them too.
PO.P Tip: Measure and fix the wire base around your head before starting, to get a good fit. Then attach greenery and flowers by winding around the frame.
Midsummer Song & Dance
Traditional Swedish Midsummer songs don’t translate so well for us, with ‘Little Frogs’ being the most popular. So we suggest The Hokey Cokey, In and Out the Windows, I Am The Music Man, The Conga and Daisy Daisy to get you started.
PO.P Tip: We have a Midsummer playlist on Spotify. Put Polarn O. Pyret Midsummer in the search bar or: https://open.spotify.com/user/polarnopyret/playlist/55usCxFnvrASI1l06FDdgB
Candy Laces No Hands
Materials: Candy laces, string or low branch. The Game: With hands behind backs, participants will compete to eat a candy lace draped on a low branch or wire. This game also works perfectly as a relay in teams.
Feel & Guess
Materials: Buckets or bowls, cooked macaroni, mashed potato, jelly, raisins, water, blindfold. The Game: Place the food in different bowls or buckets. Blindfold the person and talk about “now you’ll feel the cowpat for the mashed potato, bunny droppings for the raisins, maggots for the macaroni etc”. End with the water and a towel! Note who guessed the most correctly. This gets funnier as your audience of past participants grows.
You remember these: Three legged, egg and spoon, beanbag on head and sack race.
Materials: A large table cloth, a long stick with 1m string with a bull clip tied on the end. The Game: Two grown ups hold up the cloth whilst a stealthy parent behind the cloth clips small bags of sweets onto the bull clip. Add anticipation by attaching silly items like a cardboard fish for the first couple of ‘casts’.