Midsommar: Sweden welcomes summer

Midsommar stands as Sweden’s most important festivity, often recognized internationally due to the horror movie “Midsommar,” which drew inspiration from this traditional celebration.

The event celebrates the arrival of summer, an ideal time to explore the wonders of this Scandinavian nation. Join us now and discover why summer is the best season to experience what Sweden has to offer.

What is Midsommar?

The Origins of Midsommar

Midsommar is steeped in ancient traditions that predate Christianity, with its origins tracing back to the celebration of the midsummer solstice. Initially, it was a time for farmers to rejoice over the end of the harvesting season.

Over time, the festival acquired a mystical aura, with beliefs emerging that on the first night of summer, plants would possess magical properties.

Among the popular myths was one that seduced young women to place flowers under their pillows, hoping to catch a glimpse of their future husbands as mythical creatures took their offerings.

This tradition led to the custom of gathering flowers on the first day of summer.

In the 14th century, another element was added to this pagan ritual: the raising of a pole adorned with leaves, flowers, and wreaths in village squares. This pole became the focal point for communal celebrations, where people would gather to dance and sing around it until midnight on the first long day of summer.

How is Midsommar celebrated today?

Midsommar underwent significant changes with the arrival of Christianity, transitioning from a pagan observance to St. John the Baptist’s Day.

In contemporary times, Midsommar has evolved into a holiday, during the 19th and 25th of June, where families, friends, and entire villages come together to mark the beginning of the summer season.

While the essence of the tradition remains, there have been some alterations over the years. People still gather to dance, do the Small Frog’s Dance, and sing around the ceremonial pole.

Flowers still hold symbolic significance. However, instead of being placed under pillows, they are now used to create flower crowns, representing good fortune until the next Christmas.

New elements have also been introduced, such as elaborate feasts featuring foods gathered during the season and drinking the flavored aquavit, called ‘snaps’. People also play traditional games like Kubb, where teams compete to knock down their rivals’ wooden blocks, adding a competitive edge to the festivities.

Why should you visit Sweden during the summer?

Indeed, visiting Sweden during the summer months means missing out on iconic winter experiences like snowy landscapes, saunas, and the Northern Lights, which grace the skies only in December and January, with no guarantee of visibility.

However, opting for a summer excursion offers a huge amount of benefits, including pleasant weather, bustling streets, and ample daylight hours for exploration.

Unlike the shorter days and colder temperatures of winter, summer in Sweden allows visitors to go outdoors for the whole day.

With more daylight to spare, travelers can fully appreciate the details of Sweden’s monuments and attractions, which may be challenging to fully explore during the darker winter months.

While the Northern Lights may not be on display, summer brings its natural wonder: the Midnight Sun.

In northern regions like Jokkmokk, Kiruna, Abisko, Björkliden, and Gällivare—collectively known as Swedish Lapland—the Midnight Sun casts an amazing glow across the landscape from late May to mid-July.

In Abisko, one of Sweden’s northernmost towns, visitors can bask in the brilliance of the Midnight Sun between May 27 and July 18, offering a unique show to behold during the summer season.

Sweden’s top attractions

Stockholm stands as a magnet for visitors, boasting different options to explore. From its historic Old Town to the trendy vibes of neighborhoods like Södermalm and Östermalm.

With one-third of its landscape consisting of water and another third of lush green spaces, travelers can venture beyond its bustling center and go for forest walks easily accessible by renting a car in Stockholm.

The capital’s city archipelago is a cluster of 30,000 islands, with highlights including Grinda, Finnhamn, Vaxholm, Fjäderholmarna, Möja, and Sandhamn, perfect for day trips.

Beyond Stockholm, Sweden’s other major cities like Gothenburg and Malmö offer their unique charm.

Gothenburg, known as one of the greenest cities globally, boasts eco-friendly facilities all over the city. Gothenburg is surrounded by rocky shorelines, dense forests, and serene lakes, offering a tranquil escape from urban life.

Meanwhile, Malmö opens the door to Copenhagen, just a 40-minute drive away from the city.

For history and culture lovers, Sweden brings together hundreds of castles and museums. Marvel at Stockholm’s Royal Palace or wander through the idyllic gardens of Drottningholm Palace.

Go back in time to Renaissance times by visiting Gripsholm, Vadstena, and Kalmar castles.

For a glimpse into maritime history, a key to Sweden’s culture, the Vasa Museum offers an immersive experience showcasing the only salvaged 17th-century warship in the world, the Vasa ship.

For ABBA fans, a visit to ABBA The Museum promises a nostalgic journey through the band’s illustrious career, complete with interactive exhibits and a lot of memories.

Rent a car for the perfect trip to Sweden

Sweden stands out for its well-maintained roads, clear signage, and incredible sights strewn throughout its countryside, making it an ideal destination for a driving vacation.

While major highways offer efficient travel between destinations, the true essence of a Swedish road trip lies in driving through secondary routes. Here, you’ll cross forests, charming villages, huge lakes, beaches, and typical Swedish farmlands.

Venturing beyond urban centers is essential to fully experience Sweden’s magic. Sweden is a highly connected country allowing you to cross from island to island through bridges. Renting a car will give you the freedom to truly visit this country.

Explore Sweden with CarJet’s car hire services

CarJet compares thousands of car rental offers in Sweden, finding the ideal vehicle for you. Just like in Midsommar, CarJet ensures that you find the perfect match for your Swedish adventure. Travel through big cities, lush forests, coastlines, and more.

CarJet allows you to immerse in Sweden’s natural wonders and create unforgettable memories. And for those looking for a unique experience, discover unbeatable deals on van rentals with CarJet, ideal for exploring with friends or family.

Unlock Swedish treasures with hassle-free car hire in Sweden.