Midsommar as Swedes call it, is by far one of the most popular and celebrated days during the whole year. I dare say it’s as big as Christmas Eve.
Midsommar takes place in the middle of June and is a celebration of “Sommarsolståndet”, which means that day and night are the exact same length.
It’s as light as daylight at midnight and the story is that if you pick 7 different wild flowers and put them under your pillow, you’ll dream about your future spouse.
Usually there is dancing, eating and drinking involved. The rising of the Midsummer pole is a big thing, and when it’s been risen we dance around it, often accompanied by folk music.
Midsommar is very much about the children and both girls and boys are all dressed up, often in all white. We eat pickled herring and new potatoes with snaps and beer for lunch, and at night we usually barbeque and have strawberry cake for dessert.
Gothenburg Horse Show is considered to be one of the most prestigious and best indoor horse-shows in the world. The event has been reoccuring every year since the first show in 1977. Since then, over 3 million visitors have visited this amazing event in Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Gothenburg Horse Show is a spectacular sports event where only the best riders, and the best horses, from all over the world get to compete. Both competitors and audiences have stayed true to the event, which is seen as one of the main reasons it is still such a prestigious competition.
Sweden has managed to win the tropy no less than five times thru sensational performances by Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (1996, 2005 and 2019), Emma Emanuelsson (2014) and Peder Fredricson (2015).
All the winners from 1977 – 2020
1977 Gerd Wiltfang, Germany 1978 Eddie Macken, Irland 1979 Hugo Simon, Austria 1980 Harvey Smith, Great Britain 1981 Fritz Ligges, Germany 1982 Bernie Traurig, USA 1983 Nick Skelton, Great Britain 1984 Eddie Macken, Irland 1985 Rob Ehrens, The Netherlands 1986 Ian Miller, Canada 1987 John Whitaker, Great Britain 1988 Franke Sloothaak, Germany 1989 Thomas Fuchs, Switzerland 1990 John Whitaker, Great Britain 1991 Hervé Godignon, France 1992 Nick Skelton, Great Britain 1993 Nick Skelton, Great Britain 1994 Eddie Macken, Irland 1995 Jan Tops, The Netherlands 1996 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden 1997 Alison Firestone, USA 1998 Stefan Lauber, Switzerland 1999 Willi Melliger, Switzerland 2000 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany 2001 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany 2002 Toni Hassmann, Germany 2003 Marcus Ehning, Germany 2004 Robert Smith, Great Britain 2005 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden 2006 Jessica Kürten, Irland 2007 Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Germany 2008 Jessica Kürten, Irland 2009 Edwina Alexander, Australia 2010 Abdullah Al Sharbatly, Saudi Arabia 2011 Philippe Rozier, France 2012 Marcus Ehning, Germany 2013 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany 2014 Emma Emanuelsson, Sweden 2015 Peder Fredricson, Sweden 2016 Marcus Ehning, Germany 2017 Aldrick Cheronnet, France 2018 Robert Whitaker, Great Britain 2019 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden 2020 Daniel Deusser, Germany
There is this certain color, a very specifik red nuance, which is called Falu red, or Faluröd as it’s called in Swedish.
Falu red paint is mainly used to paint the exterior of a house, and usually on smaller cottages and/or summer houses. You’ve probably seen pictures of the idyllic little Swedish cottage with a white wooden fence and white house knots?
The Falu red houses are obviously common in Falun, but they do also appear frequently in the small fishing villages on the West Coast of Sweden.
The Swedes have been celebrating Easter, originally according to the Gregorian Calendar, since 1844. Until 1969 everything was closed on Easter Friday (in Swedish “Långfredag”, or Long Friday) – grocery stores, cinemas, restaurants, clothing stores etc. Of course due to the memory of Jesus Christ.
The last supper
According to Christian tradition Jesus arose from the dead during the Jewish “Pesach” (in Swedish “påsk”). In Sweden Easter is a holiday/tradition in which folklore, ancient Nordic tradition and Christian tradition are mixed together.
Easter is celebrated sometime between March 22:nd and April 25:th. Many Swedes see it mainly as an opportunity to gather friends and family, eat lots of good food and sweets etc.
Traditional food and drinks
The Swedes like to shoot fire crackers during Easter, which normally lasts for five days: Skärtorsdag, Långfredag, Påskafton, Påskdagen and Annandag Påsk.
Traditionally we have Påskmust, Påsköl and snaps to drink and pickled herring, smoked salmon, kavring, eggs, meat balls, cheese and lots of sweets to eat (see my post on Swedish candy).
Easter is also a celebration of light, since the Swedes are coming out of a long, dark winter period. Easter means spring is around the corner, and the flower markets are filled with people longing for floral beauty.
Lösgodis is various kinds of candy (see photos) that are sold separatly. People pick their favourites and put them in a “candy bag” or a “candy cup” before they weigh it and pay for it.
In Sweden people eat quite a lot of sweets and candy. Or as we call it: lösgodis (or smågodis). 2009 the Swedes ate more candy than any other population in the world* – around 18 kilos per person (about 40 pounds).
Swedish lösgodis is now spread globally, mainly through the Swedish furniture store Ikea, but also through export. 2014 Ikea sold lösgodis in 20 or more European stores, and the plan was to offer it in North America and Asia too.
*The large consumtion of candy is one of the reasons that obecity is an increasing problem in Sweden, especially among younger people.
December 10 is an extremely important date for many people. Just think about all the planning, the logistics, the security and the food. The food… It is not “just food” that is being served at this banquet, it is blood, sweat and tears, months and months of preparations and tastings and disasters. It is a piece of art served on the most exquisite China designed by Swedish artist Karin Björquist.
In Sweden there is an old tradition of having “sill and nubbe” at Christmas, as well as at Easter time and Midsummer. We actually eat and drink very similar during these three holidays.
“Sill” and “nubbe” is pickled herring and snaps, or a shot (e. g vodka). Usually the “nubbe”, or snaps, is spiced with cumin, citrus or some other quite peppery spices. It can also be completely clear like “Absolut Vodka”, a very strong Swedish alcoholic beverage (40%).
The pickled herring, or “sill”, is usually spiced with e.g mustard, curry, citrus or peppers and is served with boiled potatoes, sour cream, chives and a “nubbe”. At Christmas the “sill and nubbe” is usually accompanied by home made meatballs, sausages, Christmas ham, patés, cale salads and much more.
Since the traditional Swedish Christmas dishes are quite salty we often round it off with a sweet dessert called “ris a la Malta”. It is kind of like rise pudding, only we serve it with jam or sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top. On top of that there is all the candy and chocolate…
Merry Christmas, or as we say in Swedish – God Jul! ☃️🎄☃️
Sweden has been a monarchy for more than a thousand years and we’ve had around 70 different kings during this time. Our present king, Carl XVI Gustaf, was inaugurated in 1973 and is our 74:th regent.
The Swedish king is of French heritage, and the Bernadotte’s have been on the Swedish throne since 1818. Before it was only male monarchs who could inherite the crown, but since this was changed in 1980 our next regent is the Crown Princess Victoria.
The Crown Princess will, if she ascends to the throne as expected, become the fourth queen regnat in Sweden after Queen Margaret, Queen Christina and Queen Ulrika Eleonora.
The Crown Princess Victoria travels a lot and often makes official trips both abroad and within Sweden as a representative of Sweden. In 2016 The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed Victoria a member of Sustainable Development Goals Advocates for Agenda 2030, and since then The Crown Princess primarily works with issues concerning health and water.
Advent is latin and means arrival. It is a celebration of the arrival of Jesus, and also a time to prepare for Christmas.
Advent has its historical roots in the 40 day long fasting period that started around Christmas and finished by Easter. Traditionelly it is a time for fasting and preparing for the birth of Jesus.
Advent goes on for four Sundays, starting with the first Sunday in December (which means that the 4:th Sunday of Advent is X-mas Eve). Each Sunday we light a candle and we also have a special kinds of decorations hanging and/or standing in the windows. You will see this in almost every home across the country.
On December 13 Sankta Lucia visits, bringing light and hope to this dark period of the year. Usually the Swedes start decorating for X-mas around this holiday, but most people won’t decorate their X-mas tree until the night before Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve is when the big celebration takes place in Sweden. This is when all children get their Christmas gifts, when we eat traditional food such as pickled herring, baked ham and Swedish meatballs. Usually we visit family and friends and at night time we might dance around the tree.