One of the most important days in Sweden or maybe even the most important day is midsummer, the longest day of the year although we usually don´t celebrate it on the 21.6. but on the Friday evening and Saturday following midsummer. This year we decided to celebrate it in Leksand which is famous for its midsummer festivities in the whole of Sweden. Every year around 20.000 people are travelling to Leksand, a municipality with around 6.000 inhabitants, to celebrate midsummer. We packed the car and went on a 1 hour drive up to Leksand where we rented a little house a lake Siljan. We arrived on Thursday evening, moved into our 13 square meters’ home for the next three days and took a nice orientation walk before we got familiar with our neighbors. It was a lot of young people living on the camping where we hired the house but also a lot of families. Since we knew that we would not get a lot of sleep within the next days it was some early sleep on Thursday and around midnight we climbed into our bunk beds, while our neighbors were partying hard.
The next days we woke early and started to collect flowers for the traditional floral wreaths. This is a good thing about the beautiful nature here, it was really easy to get a lot of different flowers and branches but we underestimated how much we would need. It took us several hours until we were finally done but we were really satisfied with the result. Finally done, Jutta and I decided to go for a swim in the really cold Lake Siljan, I would guess it had around 16 degrees so it was a quite quick swim in the end. After a hot shower and a delicious early dinner (hotdogs) we went to town to watch the church boats arriving at the shore of the river. They were decorated with wreaths and the people inside of the boats were singing and playing traditional music. Then we all together walked to Gropen, the place where the midsummer pole is raised. After different speeches and folkloristic dances, it was time for the traditional raising of the pole. This took quite some time since the pole in Leksand is extremely tall and heavy and needs a lot of people to out it up. The audience was cheering for every pull and then finally it was standing so it was time to dance around it. We started with the frog dance, holding each other’s hand and continued with some other dances. Unfortunately, it started to rain just when we started dancing so we got soaking wet. We went back to the camping to change clothes and then continued celebrating in town. Knowing Leksand it was amazing how this small town could get so crammed with people, all in a great mood and it was a really nice evening but I was really happy when I was finally in bed around 3 at night.
The next day was basically just rain. We slept in and while the others went to town, Jutta and I decided to chill on our veranda and had some conversations with our really nice neighbors. In the evening, some of us went to town again, which turned out to be a really fun night again, with less people but still great. Sunday was a bit better, typical April weather though with sun and rain all day. We went to Summerland, a mix of Aqua Park and Theme Park- Although most of its activities are for kids we had a lot of fun with our neighbors and it turned out to be an awesome day. In the evening, we went home to Borlänge, exhausted but happy. Overall, a really great weekend, meeting new people, typical midsummer weather and a lack of sleep. If you are coming to Sweden I can really recommend to stay here until the end of June since everyone should have experienced Swedish midsummer at least once. And as usual, since pictures always can say what words cannot, I included some impressions from this great weekend.