Drinking midsommar: a swedish tradition

Sweden’s Midsommar, also known as Midsummer, is a beloved and centuries-old tradition that celebrates the summer solstice. It is a time when Swedes come together to revel in the beauty of the season, the vibrant outdoors, and, of course, the delightful Midsommar drinks. In this article, we’ll explore the rich history of Midsommar and the various beverages that play a significant role in this cherished Swedish holiday.

The origins of midsommar

Midsommar has its roots in pagan celebrations of the summer solstice, marking the longest day of the year. Over time, it merged with Christian traditions and became an essential holiday in Sweden, typically observed on the third Friday in June. This festive occasion is all about embracing the light and warmth of summer, as well as the joy of being outdoors with friends and family.

Midsommar traditions

One of the central customs of Midsommar is the creation of a maypole, adorned with flowers and ribbons. This symbolizes fertility and the rejuvenation of nature. People gather around the maypole to dance and sing traditional songs, such as ”Små grodorna” (The Little Frogs), while performing whimsical frog dances.

Another crucial aspect of Midsommar is the delicious food and drinks that are shared among loved ones. Let’s delve into the refreshing beverages that grace the Midsommar table.

The drinks of midsommar

Midsommar drinks are known for their refreshing and light nature, perfectly complementing the sunny and warm Swedish weather. Here are some of the most popular choices:

  • Akvavit: This traditional Swedish spirit is often flavored with spices and herbs. It’s served ice-cold in small glasses and is a staple of Midsommar celebrations.
  • Beer: Lager and pilsner beers are commonly enjoyed during Midsommar. They pair well with the various dishes served at the festive table.
  • Strawberry Schnapps: Made from freshly picked strawberries, this sweet and fruity schnapps is a delightful choice for those with a sweet tooth.
  • Cider: Swedish cider, often slightly sparkling, is a favorite among Midsommar-goers. It’s a refreshing alternative for those who prefer a sweeter drink.
  • Non-Alcoholic Options: It’s essential to include non-alcoholic choices for guests who don’t drink. Fruit juices, sparkling water, and traditional Swedish beverages like saft are great choices.

It’s customary to raise a glass and make a toast to the summer during Midsommar. Whether you prefer Akvavit, beer, or another beverage, the spirit of the occasion is all about coming together and celebrating the season.

Midsommar feast

The drinks are just one part of the Midsommar feast. Traditional Swedish dishes like herring, new potatoes, gravlax, and meatballs are also essential components of the celebratory meal. People gather around long tables outdoors, often in the countryside, to enjoy this delectable spread.

Additional Midsommar Traditions

In addition to dancing around the maypole and indulging in delicious food and drinks, Midsommar also includes other fun activities. These may include games, live music, and bonfires that light up the night sky.


Q: Is Midsommar a public holiday in Sweden?

A: Yes, Midsommar is considered one of the most significant public holidays in Sweden, and many businesses and schools are closed for the day.

Q: What is the significance of the maypole in Midsommar celebrations?

A: The maypole, adorned with flowers and ribbons, symbolizes fertility and the rejuvenation of nature. It is a central element of Midsommar traditions and is used for dancing and celebration.

Q: Are there any specific rules or customs associated with Midsommar to keep in mind?

A: While Midsommar is a festive and joyous occasion, it’s essential to respect local customs and traditions. Guests are encouraged to participate in activities like dancing and singing around the maypole and to enjoy the traditional foods and drinks.

Q: Can I celebrate Midsommar outside of Sweden?

A: Absolutely! Midsommar is celebrated by Swedes and Swedish communities around the world. You can join in the festivities and enjoy the traditional food and drinks, even if you’re not in Sweden.

In conclusion, Midsommar is a time-honored Swedish tradition that brings people together to celebrate the beauty of summer. The drinks and feasting are an integral part of this joyous occasion, and whether you prefer Akvavit or cider, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, raise a glass and toast to the warmth and light of Midsommar!

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