During my visit to Sweden, I was fortunate enough to take part in one of the Swedes’ favorite celebrations: Midsommar.
Being avid nature-lovers in a country, well, bursting with nature, many Swedes have country homes. So for this year’s Midsommar festivities we headed to the country home of a friend of a friend. I was the only non-Swede in attendance, so upon arrival I was immediately pummeled with questions about what I knew about Midsommar. I admitted I didn’t know much.
“Well, we make a cross and then bury it in the ground,” one girl explained, pausing to try to find the right English words. “It’s a symbol of, like, fertilizing Mother Nature.”
I admitted that I had not known this about Midsommar. I kept to myself that it sounded a little bit weird.
Oscar and I were promptly sent to the lake to gather wildflowers to decorate the cross. There’s a very “this land is your land, this land is my land” or “what’s mine is yours” philosophy when it comes to land and nature in Sweden. You can pretty much go clip wildflowers from anywhere, except the bluebells which are of course the prettiest but are endangered. You can be fined for cutting them. (more…)