biggelois: (juni)
[personal profile] biggelois
Today is Midsummer Eve, tomorrow Midsummer Day. It's an old Swedish/Nordic tradtion which stems back from the heathen days. The 'proper' midsummer happens on Summer Solstice- the longest day- which is tomorrow on Midsummer Day, but since 1953 it's been regulated to celebrte Midsummer on a Saturday between 20 to 26 of June. That is to make sure that everybody get a day off.

Anyhow- old tradition! From starters this was a fertility rite- duh!It's also a sun-worship rite. Archeologists have found rock carvings which are claimed to show this. The Vikings celerated Midsummer with a 'blot'- a ritual sacrifice. From what we've gathered about the Viking blot they were regular and normally contained sex- and blood rituals. The Vikings held blot at Midsummer, Winter Solstice, Spring - and Autumnal Equinox. Those were the big ones, then there were smaller ones spread thoughout the year. Lotsa blood!

Anyhow again; back in 4 C, the church highjacked Midsummer and named it Johannes Döparens dag- John the Bapstist Day. Ever since then, the church has been trying to stop the traditional, heathen Midsummer celebrations. In 1425, Archbishop Johannes in Lund actually banned the festivites and wanted the pople to go to church to honour Johannes Döparen instead. Didn't work.

I almost forgot! Of course there were witches in the mix as well. The first Christian celebrations held -of course again- bonfires to burn witches on. That stemmed from the sun worshiping bonfires from the Bronze Age. Today we don't light any bonfires anymore but we do have Midsummer Poles. We call them Majstång- May Pole. In this case 'maj' doesn't mean the month maj (May) but is the old word for 'lövad' -decorated with foliage. The pole is a cock in disguise- yep, fertility rite. People dance around it and sing songs about little frogs and Aunt Ingegerd's old clothes. I know, that makes no sense.

Food! Traditional Swedish food is served. Pickled herring, salmon- smoked and grav. New potatoes. Gubbröra- Old Man's Mix-which is anchovies, onions, egg, parsley, dill, chives all gooped together and served on dark rye bread. Strawberries. You can cram in a Janson's Temptation if you want. Sausgaes, meatballs. Basically the same things we eat during Christmas and Easter.Don't forget the snaps though. Midsummer comes with a lot of booze and drunken mishaps. During Midsummer more accidents happen than during the rest of the year. People are out in the woods or the archipelago- drink too much, get into fights, fall overboard...

Well! That was that about Midsummer. I wish you all a happy one!


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