Swedish Midsummer Party & Food Traditions

Bring out the maypole! It’s time for the Swedish Midsummer Party. Enjoy your favorite Swedish food traditions during the midsummer party. Read our guide for more facts & information…

The Swedish Midsummer party happens in June.  It is one of the most important holidays in Sweden and the food traditions and activities make it uniquely Swedish. One of the most famous tradition in Swedish midsummer is the maypole dancing.  Families and friends raise up a maypole and people gather around and dance.  Folks would listen to traditional music and some even wear traditional costumes all for the enjoyment of the Swedish Midsummer party.  Females would wear flower wreaths with wild springs and wildflowers.

The Swedish midsummer party has its own set of food traditions.  The first potatoes of the year are harvested and served.  Soused herring, snaps, sour cream, beer and strawberries are definitely on the menu.  Heavy drinking is also part of the midsummer party.

The traditional dish that so much needs to accompany these evening parties is, besides beer or a good wine, plus everything that fits on top of a barbecue pit – is pickled herring and newly harvested potatoes boiled with some dill. The pickled herring if served as a separate dish like this is usually served accompanied by a special yogurt flavored and decorated with chopped spring leek. Harvesting the first strawberry fruits calls for the baking of sweet delicious strawberry cakes. Swedish midsummer party food tradition is never complete without these foods.
The midsummer parties are usually held in the garden.  With long dusk-dawn periods, purple hues, the entire place becomes romantic.  It is believed that Swedish midsummer is a time when magic is at its highest.  Rituals of looking into the future are performed.  Traditionally, young people pick bouquets of seven or nine different flowers and put them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming about their future spouse. In the past it was believed that herbs picked at Midsummer were highly potent, and water from springs could bring good health.

Swedish midsummer party is a time for families to come together and enjoy a time of merriment and good food. The children receive sweets and baked goods and play lottery tombola. They should also line up for a turn in the hayride, sitting on the back of the hay cart as it goes round the neighborhood.

Served with good food traditions, the Swedish midsummer party is a perfect time to relax, unwind and enjoy.

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