20.6.2023 • Company and Culture
When families in Sweden come together on the evening of 23 June to celebrate summer, it is Midsommar (also called Midsummer Festival or Summer Solstice). Flower wreaths and midsummer trees decorate the gardens and traditional songs, such as "Små grodorna" can be heard everywhere.
In Sweden, Midsommar is one of the most popular, if not the most popular holiday. Historically the old, peasant society of Sweden celebrated a festival of summer. For them, Midsummer
marked a turning point in the working year, while Midsummer's Eve itself was seen as full of magical powers and supernatural beings.
According to legends, Midsummer's Eve was filled with mysterious forces, supernatural beings were particularly active and bustling. The dew that rose on Midsummer had miraculous effects. Rolling naked in the dew or collecting it in sheets and shirts was considered beneficial to health.
Nowadays, the festival is seen more as an opportunity to celebrate with family the end of a long, dark winter and the beginning of a warm, intense summer.
The day before, many families head out into nature to pick large quantities of wildflowers for their midsummer wreaths. These are traditionally worn on the head during the festival.
Many of our Swedish colleagues from Gothenburg celebrate Midsommar together with their families. So does Carolina Fritiof, Marketing Assistant at Dr. Oetker Sweden.
Their celebration typically starts with a Midsommar lunch consisting of many typical dishes, e.g. different kinds of herring, potatoes, salmon, Västerbotten cheesecake, sour cream, salmon, eggs with caviar, chives and lots of strawberries for dessert, sometimes in the form of a strawberry tart with whipped cream.
Dr. Oetker Sweden is a pure sales company. The 18 members of the Swedish team, based in Gothenburg, concentrate on sales, marketing and the development of new products.
The product range includes pizza (Ristorante, Tradizionale, Rustica), frozen cakes (My Sweet Deli), as well as baking ingredients and decorating products.
Typical: Dr. Oetker offers a decorating kit exclusively in Sweden for Pippi Longstocking fans.
After the meal, people dance around the midsummer pole (majstång) and traditional midsummer songs like "Små grodorna" can be heard from everywhere.
If you don't want to put up your own pole, you can take part in one of the many public Midsommar festivals with accordion, violins, dancing, songs and Swedish fika (the classic name for a coffee break with pastries).
Contrary to the perhaps somewhat clichéd perception, there is no special dress for Midsommar, but you still get dressed up. For many girls and women, wearing flowery summer dresses or national costumes is a highlight of the holiday.
"Summer in Sweden is short and intense, so Midsummer's Eve is a perfect day to celebrate with all your friends and family. For some of us it has even more meaning than Christmas." (Carolina Fritiof, Marketing Assistant)