Midsummer traditions at Skansen
|039 Annika berättar 8bit _MA|
Midsummer at Skansen is highly popular and attracts a huge crowd every year. You can be certain of a lively time with traditional Swedish entertainments and plenty of fun. Midsummer’s Eve is, with Christmas, the most popular festival in Sweden.
Just as in other parts of Europe the festival centred round an ancient agricultural ritual involving the entire village. Elsewhere the villagers made a great bonfire but in these latitudes the lightest night of the year was not the right time for dancing around a fire! So the bonfires were replaced by another ancient summer tradition; that of the maypole. Maypoles are believed to be part of an old fertility rite, the pole being a phallus that “impregnates” Mother Nature. It was hoped that properly celebrating this rite would help to give a good harvest in the autumn.Midsummer night was also believed to be a time of powerful and secret forces. Everything was animated: the dew, the flowers, the twigs of the trees and the water in the wells. Midsummer today is a national holiday in Sweden. Families and friends meet and eat pickled herring and new potatoes washed down with schnapps and beer. Camping is a popular activity at this lovely time of the year while numerous people flee the cities for their summer cottages. Wherever people live they seek out a place where a maypole is raised and there is dancing and games – like the famous ‘frog dance’ (små grodorna) – for the children. Midsummer is celebrated in Sweden on the weekend closest to June 24 which is officially Midsummer’s Day.
General program Here is a general program for the celebration, details can change somewhat from one year to the other, check for latest news at www.skansen.se
Midsummer Eve – Friday The children binds their own garlands of birch-leaf at Orsakullen at 10.00 – 14.00. We raise the big Maypole and invite all our visitors to sing, dance and play games round the pole in the company of Skansen Folk Dancers, Ring-Dancing Children and Folk Musicians. At Tingsvallen 14.00 – 15.30. Skansen Ring-Dancing Children perform at the Tingsvallen stage at 16.00 Midsummer concert in Seglora church at 16.00, 17.00 and 18.00. Games and dancing round the maypole. Featuring: Skansen Folk Dancers, Ring-Dancing Children and Folk Musicians at Tingsvallen 17.30. Skansen Folk Dancers perform at the Tingsvallen stage at 19.00. Outdoor dancing to traditional Swedish dance-music at Bollnästorget at 20.00 – 23.00. Outdoor dancing to mixed/modern Swedish dance-music at the Galejan dance pavillion 20.00 – 24.00. Folk music by Skansen Folk Musicians at the Mora farmstead 20.30-22.00 .
Midsummer Day – Saturday The children binds their own garlands of birch-leaf at Orsakullen at 11.00 – 14.00. Games and dancing round the maypole at Tingsvallen. Featuring: Skansen Folk Dancers, Ring-Dancing Children and Folk Musicians at 13.00 – 13.45 Midsummer – the folklore dress, dance and traditions: Skansen Folk Dancers, Ring-Dancing Children and Folk Musicians. At the Tingsvallen 14.00. Games and dancing round the maypole. Featuring: Skansen Folk Dancers, Ring-Dancing Children and Folk Musicians at Tingsvallen 15.30 – 16.15. Outdoor dancing to traditional Swedish dance-music at Bollnästorget 20.00 – 23.00. Outdoor dancing to mixed/modern Swedish dance-music at the Galejan dance pavillion 20.00 – 23.00.
Sunday Games and dancing round the maypole. Featuring: Skansen Folk Dancers, Ring-Dancing Children and Folk Musicians at Tingsvallen 13.30 – 14.15 Midsummer – the folklore dress, dance and traditions: Skansen Folk Dancers, Ring-Dancing Children and Folk Musicians. At the Tingsvallen 14.30 – 15.15. Skansen Folk Dancers perform at the Tingsvallen stage 16.00.
Skansen is one of Sweden’s leading tourist attractions with more than 1,3 million visitors annually, many of them foreign tourists. People come from far and wide to see the unique collection of historical buildings from all over Sweden as well as the Scandinavian wild and domestic animals and the exotic fauna at the Aquarium. Skansen has its own stage for concerts, a lively town quarter, a hot-glass workshop, other craft workshops, cafés, restaurants and shops; and a fantastic view of Stockholm.On our website skansen.se you can find information in several languages.
Skansen is the world’s first open-air museum, founded in the 1891. Here one can wander through five centuries of Sweden, from north to south and feel the history in the historic houses and farms, where chores such as carding, spinning, weaving, cooking and baking is performed by people dressed in period costumes. In the town quarter from the 1850s there are handicraft workshops along cobblestone streets. Skansen is Stockholm’s only zoo and home to Nordic wild animals such as bears, wolves, wolverines, moose and lynx. Holidays and celebrations as Walpurgis night, Sweden’s National Day, Midsummer, Lucia, Christmas and New Year are celebrated in a traditional way. With breathtaking views of Stockholm one can enjoy a meal at one of the nice restaurants. The museum shop sells traditional crafts and new Swedish design. Skansen is open every day of the year.
Skansen offer experiences 365 days a year. Every day we have houses and farms open where the hosts, dressed in traditional period clothing, tells about Swedish customs and traditions. In early spring there is often an increase among Skansen’s Nordic animals when the cubs are born.
For children! Lill-Skansen has been the children’s favorite place at Skansen since 1955 but all-new Lill-Skansen is a place where all children can learn about animals and nature – all year round. In an area of 5400 square meters there are pat corners, an outdoor stage for children’s theater and an indoor arena that encourages play and laughter. Children meet guinea pigs, rabbits, snakes, cats, small goats and many more animals!
Midsummer is celebrated traditionally at Skansen on 19-21 June and is one of the major highlights during the summer. Here visitors can experience traditional Swedish folk dance around the maypole, buy Swedish delicacies at the market and play old games from the past. Other popular program activities during the summer are; try out activities for children, sing-along concerts, children’s theater, Jazz music concerts, dance evenings and much more.