It’s nearly June 21st, a time for love and laughter, fairies and butterflies, food and drink—its summer solstice, the official start of summer and the longest day of the year. I think I’ll celebrate the six months before Christmas with a Midsummer night celebration party.
Solstice celebrations still center near the day of the astronomical summer solstice. Some choose to celebrate on June 21, even when this is not the longest day of the year, and others on June 24.
In European countries such as Sweden, where summers are short and winters are long and dark, a Midsummer night celebration is gladly celebrated by young and old. It is most definitely the party of the year.
Even playwright William Shakespeare wrote about it between 1590 and 1596 in his play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Most of the story takes place in a forest so if possible, one should celebrate in a wooded area or your garden. A balcony with lights will do as well and don’t forget to decorate a maypole. The midsommarstang as it’s called in Sweden and a part of Swedish-speaking Finland is decorated with leaves and wildflowers as an appeal to the gods for a generous harvest.
Typical Midsummer night celebration harvest foods include fresh potatoes, fresh garden herbs, herring, beer, strawberries—which all make lovely menu items for a Midsummer party.
In addition to food, drinking also plays a huge role in the summer celebration. Traditional Scandinavian drinking songs (snapsvisor) are sung during the Midsummer feast and many drink heavily, indulging in a small shot of spirit called a snaps. I guess that’s why pickled herring, chives, and sour cream are also on the menu since it tends to lighten the hangover effects.
I’ve put together a simple menu for my Midsummer night celebration party which I should be able to prepare in a short time frame and with little stress.
Midsummer Night Celebration Drinks
- Aperol spritz, an easy summertime favorite.
- Italian Crodino, a sun-colored biter which is a superb refreshing non-alcoholic drink.
Midsummer Night Celebration Food
- New potatoes and garden herbs such as parsley, chives, and tarragon leaves blended with Dijon mustard and olive oil.
- Cucumber salad in Greek yogurt sauce topped with colorful edible wildflowers flowers.
- Pickled herring served on rye bread rounds topped with fresh dill.
Midsummer Night Celebration Desert
- Fresh strawberries on top of sponge cakes, pound cake, or scones.
Send us you Midsummer Night celebration ideas; we’d love to hear from you.