If you arrive in the Swedish capital today you’ll be forgiven for wondering: What’s going on here? Where is everyone?
The answer is Midsummer, one of the most important days in the Swedish calendar.
Places to go, people to see
At Midsummer the inhabitants of Stockholm head to the archipelago, (the many islands and skerries that dot its coastline) for a long weekend of feasting and partying with friends and family.
Up for some silly dancing?
Traditional Midsummer dictates that you should be close to nature in the company of loved ones, preferably near the sea or a lake. If you don’t have an island holiday home or friends with one to visit, anywhere that takes you out of the city will do. Ideally, you should also decorate and raise a maypole that you later dance around in a series of games and (some say) silly dances, or visit a locally organised one.
Carefree summer days
Personally, I have fantastic childhood memories of celebrating at the summer house of friends of my parents on the coast outside the town of Norrtälje. There could be upwards of 20 adults and at least as many children there for the long weekend, half of whom arrived in their yachts. We had the run of the place climbing trees, swimming and diving from the dock, rowing and fishing. It was heaven for us kids.
One particularly memorable year was when one of the adults known as Rosa Pantern (Swedish for the Pink Panther, apparently because he was very tall and once turned up to a fancy dress party dressed as the feline character) organised a brilliant treasure hunt, complete with a pirate-style map. When we eventually found the treasure (and yes, we had to dig for it) it was a large hole filled to the top with lollipops. Guess who earned hero status that day?
Get your gladrags on - and jewellery
Midsummer is also a time to dress up in your best summer outfits. And if you ask me, no outfit is complete without jewellery!
To add a sprinkle of Swedish cool to your summer style – wherever you spend your Midsummer - have a look at my Wavelife collection. All the necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings in it are inspired by the islands of the Stockholm archipelago. I hope you find something that speaks to you.
P. S For a more detailed insight into the specifics of Swedish Midsummer and how to celebrate it, this funny blog by Bronte Aurell, the brainchild of the London-based very excellent food retailer Scandi Kitchen, is definitely worth a read.
P. P. S. The blue-yellow ribbons on the maypole in the picture are the colours of the Swedish flag – and of course also those of the people of Ukraine ❤️.
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