Swedish Summertime – and the living is easy


One of the things I learnt about Swedish people in the three years that I lived there, is that they really know how to really enjoy the summertime.
In a country that is cold and dark for much of the year, celebrating the sun is of the utmost importance. So come June, tens of thousands of Swedes abandon towns and cities and head to the coastal islands, inland lakes, vast boreal forests and glaciated mountains, for weeks of rest and relaxation.

Dreaming of lazy summer afternoons on the banks of Lake Mälaren in Sweden.
Dreaming of lazy summer afternoons on the banks of Lake Mälaren in Sweden.

And it is not uncommon to find everything shut down for an entire month, usually in July, while everybody takes their “industerial vactation”.
But it is not just the relaxing, it is the celebrations that come with summer which, like the summer daylight hours in Sweden, seem neverending.

The celebrations start with Valborg (Walpurgis Night) on April 30th, where everybody gathers outside to ignite hazardously large bonfires, sing songs and greet Spring.
Valborg Bonfire in Ekbacken, Åkersberga Sweden.
Valborg Bonfire in Ekbacken, Åkersberga Sweden.

And people can really let their hair down as the following day is a public holiday, May Day, celebrated by the Swedish labour movement with demonstrations and political speeches. Since  Ascension Day, occurs on a Thursday, the subsequent Friday is known as klämdag, “squeezed day”, and is taken off from work by many Swedish people. Next comes Swedish National Day on June 6th, also known as the Day of the Swedish Flag.
The most important event for the Swedish calendar is Midsummer (or midsommar). Pickled herring, boiled new potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and chives, salmon and the first strawberries for the summer for dessert all washed down with brännvin. After eating all this, if you are up to it, there is dancing round the maypole and yet more singing (and drinking too).

Kräftpremiär  is a crayfish party, held in early August, and is the last of the traditional summertime festivals.

A month off work, fantastic fresh food, wild swimming, lazing around in the sun and all-day (and sometimes all-night) parties… I think I may be on the next flight back – Hej då.
Alliums on the banks of Åkers Canal in Åkersberga, Sweden.
Alliums on the banks of Åkers Canal


20 Comments Add yours

  1. lenalimhamn says:

    Ha! Sååå sant! Sooo true!

    1. alidunnell says:

      You guys really over there in Sweden really have got a lot of things right!

  2. Thanks for your support and you keep up the good work.

  3. please come to my country India, we celebrate each moment of life.

    1. alidunnell says:

      I love India and have been there on two occasions, spending altogether about 5 months travelleling round the country. I was lucky enough to spend Diwali there and Christmas and think it is a fascinating country. I would love to go back again. Ali

      1. So you were in India at best time of the year. 🙂

  4. Baraka M says:

    Lovely Art. Do you have any tips for aspiring blogger artists???

    1. alidunnell says:

      Hi Baraka. The best thing I can suggest you do if to post regularly and also like other people’s work. Also be sure to tag your work and make sure you enjoy your projects. Ali

  5. bloger anyar says:

    Hi friend,thnks you for following my blog,,,succes always for you…

  6. Amazing artwork. I would love to grab some quick tips from you to learn a bit of this fascinating art.

    1. alidunnell says:

      Hi Shikha. The best advice I can give is to always have a camera or a pen and paper on you. To continually keep a record of your art work and most importantly, to enjoy art! Ali

      1. Great advice. Thank you.

  7. Next time you plan to visit India, there is a place in Himachal Pradesh, Bir Billing, a paragliding site, maybe you can cover some of its beauty in your work. ✌️

    1. alidunnell says:

      I shall have to add it to my list of places to visit. Ali

      1. That will be great. 👍

  8. memyselfruby says:

    This is so interesting!

    1. alidunnell says:

      Thanks. It really is a great place to visit or live and work in. Ali

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *