Midsummer marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and is Scandinavia's biggest non-religious celebration. People in Scandinavia celebrate Midsummer with bonfires, plenty of food, and outdoor fun. Bonfires are a traditional way to ward off evil spirits. It's a joyful time, with long days of sunlight and the start of shorter nights after Midsummer.

The celebrations are filled with bright nights, clear skies, flowers, delicious food, and happiness. It feels like a throwback to Viking times, celebrating light and nature in their simplest forms.


In Denmark, Midsummer evening is celebrated with bonfires across the country, blending the traditions of Sankt Hans (honoring John the Baptist) with the June Solstice. The bonfires are lit amidst speeches and songs, a tradition dating back to Viking times when they were lit to protect against evil spirits before the harvest season.

The bonfires burn late into the night as families and friends gather outdoors. The evening is filled with bonfires believed to purify the surroundings, delicious food, and community gatherings.


The Midsummer evening in Norway includes bonfires, believed to cleanse the area of evil spirits, good food, and large gatherings. Norwegians love to mark special days with certain foods and Sankthans is no exception. The food most commonly eaten on this day is rømmegrøt (sour cream porridge) and spekemat (cured meats).

In northern Norway, Midsummer is particularly magical. With the sun not setting between mid-May and mid-July, celebrations extend into the luminous Arctic night.


Just like Denmark and Norway, Finland also celebrates Midsummer with large bonfires meant to ward off evil spirits. People retreat to summer cottages, enjoy saunas, and revel in nature. The Midsummer table is adorned with new potatoes and herring (silli), grilled white fish, sausages, and of course, local strawberries with cream.

The evening holds a special significance as a night of romance. Legend has it that if a woman places seven different flowers under her pillow before falling asleep on Midsummer's Eve, she will dream of her future husband.


Midsummer in Sweden is celebrated across the country, prompting many to leave the cities. Festivities kick off the night before on Midsummer's Eve. During the day, Swedes gather flowers to create garlands and adorn the Maypole. This tall pole, often painted and draped with ribbons and flowers, stands in an open space where Swedes gather to dance in celebration. The Maypole holds various symbolic meanings; some view it as a fertility symbol, while others see it as linking the underworld, earth, and heavens.

The day includes a leisurely dinner featuring herring, boiled potatoes, and plenty of aquavit at every table. A traditional Swedish delicacy, surströmming, made from fermented Baltic herring, is also served. Known for its strong aroma and distinctive flavor, surströmming has been a staple of Swedish midsummer celebrations for centuries.


Icelandic Midsummer is rooted in Icelandic superstitions that are highly unique to the country. Myths you may hear in Iceland include that, during Midsummer, seals become human and cows can speak. What a day!

There are no bonfires or other organized celebrations, but Icelandic people do tend to spend the day with loved ones, eat good food, and generally enjoy the longest day of the year.

HUS & ROOMS is celebrating its 2nd Anniversary and the Scandinavian Midsummer at the store, on June 22nd, from noon to 4pm. Friends and family are welcome!

- Hannele

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