'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Thursday, 13 September 2018

My Swedish Midsommar

On Midsummar's eve, we, and many others, went to a meeting place that had been an iron smelter. We wore beautiful crowns made of flowers and as part of the ceremony to welcome the middle of summer they opened up the gates and let the water through.
There were picnics and grasshoppers and laughter and there was music-playing and dancing and a maypole, and lots of children, and a spotted Pippi Longstocking horse, and wild strawberries and Swedish bread that you could watch being rolled out and cooked. I loved seeing that the slag glass that was left over after the iron ore had been heated to melt the iron out, had been used as a building material.  It was so beautiful and each piece was unique.
Afterwards we all wandered back to the cars and drove home to put some cream on the pavlova that was our contribution to the wonderful evening feast ...

... which was for all the neighbours and held just across the road.  Which was lucky because I may have indulged in just a teeny glass of schnapps more than was sensible so when the games began, I could just stagger slip away back across the road and watch the sun trying to go down from the wee house's little front porch.

Son tried on the crown.  He looked very becoming in it!

Here comes the water!

Everyone dancing.

The old foundry tower.  

The beautiful vitreous material (slag) that is left behind when the iron is smelted
out of the ore. 

Rolling out the knacke brod (crisp Swedish bread) which used to be
made with a hole in the middle and threaded onto long sticks like broom handles
and hauled up and stored in the warm and dry rafters. you just lowered down a stick
when you wanted bread. 

Back to the neighbour's place for the evening shared meal.

I tried a bit of everything.  My favourite was the fermented picked herrings.

Traditional Swedish cake.  Sponge, cream and strawberries.

Time for games... ! 

10.30 pm midsummer's eve

11 pm midsummer's eve.

2 am midsummer's day.


  1. That is my kind of celebration. It reminds me of some of the harvest celebrations when I was a child.

    1. Mine too! Although I have only just found out ha ha.
      I like celebrations that are rooted in the seasons and the 'soil'. They seem to just Make Sense.

  2. Midsummer seems sooo very far in the past. You have captured and conveyed the spirit of the day so well and so enjoyably.

    1. You have had a very busy summer I guess Geeb, which included me too!
      And, thanks!

  3. Wow, looks like you certainly got a "full" Swedish midsummer experience there... :)

    1. I did! It was a super day, and I will never forget it. Every little thing was magic.

  4. What fun! And fascinating to boot....such wonderful memories you are sharing with us. I almost feel I am there!

    1. That's nice Bob! Then I have succeeded! It makes me feel great to be able to give others pleasure.


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