Monday, June 24, 2013

Foreigner at the solstice

I've had the fortune of celebrating Midsummer a few years now, in Sweden the world stops if you don't celebrate and most out-of-
Sweden-swedes carry on that tradition in their respective countries. In England however its not a bank holiday (for us Swede's its weird to even think about working that day) So for the years I lived there we never really celebrated. I would be in the sweltering hot of London, or on a beach in Greece unaware of the day of the week, much less any "important" dates passing by. So I guess you could say that I'm a bit new to Midsummer, and I thought I'd try and share an outsider's perspective.

In England everyone loves the dry sunny summers, after a rainy (not snowy) winter they are always sick of the rain. Who wouldn't be though? But it makes sense that they don't celebrate Midsummer in the way that Swedes do. How many hours there are of sunlight becomes a big deal when we go from seven hours in the winter to 20 hours in the summer - how can you not celebrate that? 

During the month of December one of the northernmost places in Sweden, called Kiruna, have sunlight between 10:14 - 12:41. During the month of June - the sun doesn't set in Kiruna. From 2.5 hours to 24 hours a day of sun you can start to understand the phenomenon that is Midsummer.

It's not just celebrating the sun though, the original tradition was all about celebrating all different kinds of fertility. As the days grow longer and the sun reaches our cold country, plant, animal, and human life has time to be re-born - and thats why we dance around a huge pole that (if you didn't already know and thought it was a huge coincidence) resembles a big p***s 

Lovely people right? I think so, because why not celebrate the P***s

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