Midsummer: Many Traditions for a Worldwide Festival

Midsummer officially represents the beginning of summer.
This is a holiday filled with tradition, history and magic.
One  celebration across multiple nations, but most noticeably, within the Northern European countries. 

Let’s explore together in this article all the Midsummer habits and customs of the countries in CreditStar’s world.

What is Midsummer?

Midsummer is a series of events celebrated between the 23rd and the 25th of June to consecrate the beginning of summer.
In the Nordic countries of Estonia, Finland, and Sweden this day is considered as important as Christmas.

The origins of Midsummer can be traced far back in time. There are records of this event  celebrated before the Middle Ages.
Initially originating as a pagan festival, after the expansion and spread of Christianity it took on the connotations of a full-fledged Christian holiday and was renamed, “St. John Baptiste Day”.

Below we take a dive into how Midsummer days are celebrated in the eight Creditstar countries.

ESTONIA: The White Nights

Midsummer in Estonia is known as St. John’s Day or locally referred to as“Jaanipäev” and is celebrated on the 23rd and 24th of June.

Midsummer is celebrated during the White Nights, so-called the longest days of the year.
Midsummer coincided with Victory Day when the Estonian forces defeated the German Troops in the War of Independence.

These days, all Estonian citizens tend to move to the countryside, leaving the cities completely deserted.
Outdoor holidays are a must for Estonians, whom they love to:

•     Enjoy barbecue and picnics
•     Making bonfires
•     Staying with friends and family

SWEDEN: Food, Flowers, and Fun

The Swedish version of Midsummer has ancient roots:
Historians date the beginning of the festival around the 6th century.
The location for excellence is Skansen in Stockholm, the oldest open-air museum in the world.
For Swedish people, Midsummer is the occasion to reconnect again with nature.
The party has no major differences from those celebrated in the other Northern countries but, in Sweden, 3 elements define Midsummer:

Flowers: Wearing a wreath of flowers in the hair is the true symbol of this holiday since antiquity.
Food: Fresh potatoes, pickled herring, and Jordgubbstarta (strawberry cake) are the famous-delicious dishes for this festival.
Fun games: the popular games are Kubb and Femkamp.

FINLAND: Seurassari Island

Midsummer in Finland, share look alike traditions and activities to those celebrated and demonstrated in Estonia and Sweden, such as:

• Barbecue with family and friends
• Making the Bonfire or “Kokko”
• Swimming, fishing, and boating all around the countryside, especially on Seurassari Island.

POLAND: The Kupala Night

Midsummer in Poland, known as “Noc Swietojanska”, has Slavic roots and the festival is celebrated on the longest day of the year, The Kupala Night, named after the Slavic fertility goddess, Kupala.

The major activities in Poland for Midsummer are:
• Jumping over the fire
• Dancing around the Bonfire
• Throwing wreaths on water (“Wianki”)

CZECH REPUBLIC: (Mid)summer in advance

Midsummer in the Czech Republic, known as Navalis Festival, is celebrated on the 15th of May.
This event is the largest Baroque festival in the world.

The river of Vitava is colored by fireworks, boats, and the famous Baroque music concert.
An incredible experience that you can’t miss.

SPAIN: La Noche de San Juan

Spain celebrates Midsummer, better known as “Noche de San Juan”, on the 23rd of June.

The traditional activities, despite the distance compared to northern European countries, are pretty similar:

• They made the Bonfire where people challenge themselves to jump over it
• Spanish family and friends get together on the beach to enjoy the Fireworks

UK: Midsummer Night’s Dream

In the UK nations, the Midsummer is on 21 June and Stonehenge is the most famous location to celebrate it.

The main event is the sunrise, the moment when the sun illuminates the center of Stonehenge.
On this day you can touch the stone, something exclusive considering that it is forbidden to touch the structure during the rest of the year.
Food trucks, Boombox music, and glow-sticks are part of the festival.

Denmark: Always about Hygge

Midsummer, called “Sankthansaften”, is well celebrated all over Denmark.
The Dansk”, especially for this exciting event, is searching to find comfort and pleasure in a typical hygge style.

People enjoy moving to the countryside but, the festival is concentrated also in the big cities:

In Copenaghen people used to go to Tivoli Garden, a park in the city center, where you can listen to live music and enjoy the fireworks all over the danish park located in the capital city.
In Copenaghen, the other emblazoned places are Bakken and Bryggen.

Are you planning to visit one of these 8 countries one day?

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