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Midsummer at Skansen

Midsummer at Skansen is highly popular and attracts a huge crowd every year. You can be certain of a lively time with traditional Swedish entertainments and plenty of fun. Midsummer's Eve is, with Christmas, the most popular festival in Sweden.

Skansen

These activities you can take part of at lots of places at Skansen, not just one. Please read the programme to see everything it has to offer.

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Welcome to a Midsummer festival! During the Midsummer weekend Skansen will be filled with plenty of fun all the way into the light summer night.

From Friday June 24th to Sunday June 26th we invite you to take part in the festivities around Midsummer with traditional Swedish entertainment, music, dancing and storytelling. At 14.00 on Midsummer’s Eve we raise the leafy maypole.

Public transportation is often busy on Midsummer’s Eve and we recommend you to come early. It is also recommended to buy your ticket in advance for a faster entry to Skansen. If you have an annual card you may enter through the pre-purchase entrance. Regular entrance fee is applied for the midsummer celebrations at Skansen.

Programme 2022

Midsummer Eve – Friday June 24th

10am-2pm
Leaf wreath binding for children. At Orsakullen

11am–8pm
Midsummer fair. Handicrafts and locally produced food. The Bollnäs Square

11.30am–1pm and 3-4.30 pm
Meet with the Wise Woman. In Swedish. The Kyrkhult Farmhouse

2–3.20pm
Raising of the maypole followed by dance and games with Skansen’s folk dancers and the Skansen folk musicians hosted by Kerstin Kantzy. In Swedish and English. Tingsvallen

3, 4 & 5pm
Midsummer concert. Vocal trio Vanja Modigh performs nordic folk songs, Georgian polyphony and American old time. 35 min. Seglora church

4–4.50pm
Midsummer concert with SVÄNG Harmonica Quartet. A one of a kind musical experience served with a portion of Finnish humour. With Eero Turkka, Pasi Leino, Jouko Kyhälä and Filip Jers. Tingsvallen Stage

5.15-6pm
Dance and games around the maypole. Tingsvallen

6.15-7pm
Performance of Swedish folk dance with Skansen’s folk dancers and the Skansen folk musicians. Tingsvallen Stage

7-9pm
Midsummer concert. Västanvinden Trio invites you to dance to their swinging folk music! With Lovis Jacobsson, zither, Albin Myrin, clarinet och Erland Westerström, harmonica. The Bollnäs Square

7.45-8.15pm
Enjoy folk music by the Skansen folk musicians. The Bergsman´s farmstead

8pm-midnight
Modern dance, tempo. Performing on stage is Sandins. The Galejan Stage

Saturday June 25th

11am-8pm
Midsumme
r fair. Handicrafts and locally produced food. The Bollnäs Square

11.30-13 and 15-16.30
Meet with the Wise Woman.
In Swedish. The Kyrkhult Farmhouse

12.30-1.15pm and 2.30-3.15pm
Dance and games around the maypole. With Skansen’s folk dancers and the Skansen folk musicians in both Swedish and English, hosted by Kerstin Kantzy. Tingsvallen

3, 4 & 5pm
Midsummer concert. Vocal trio Vanja Modigh performs nordic folk songs, Georgian polyphony and American old time. 35 min. Seglora church

3.30-4.15pm
Performance of Swedish folk dance with Skansen’s folk dancers and the Skansen folk musicians. Tingsvallen Stage

6-8pm
Midsummer concert. Västanvinden Trio invites you to dance to their swinging folk music! With Lovis Jacobsson, zither, Albin Myrin, clarinet och Erland Westerström, harmonica. The Bollnäs Square

7-11pm Modern dance, mature. Performing on stage is Sandins. The Galejan Stage

Sunday June 26th

11am-5pm
Midsummer fair. Handicrafts and locally produced food. The Bollnäs Square

11.30am-1pm and 2.30-4pm
Meet with the Wise Woman.
In Swedish. The Kyrkhult Farmhouse

1-1.45pm
Dancing and games around the maypole. With Skansen’s folk dancers and the Skansen folk musicians in both Swedish and English, hosted by Kerstin Kantzy. Tingsvallen

2pm
Midsummer concert. Vocal trio Vanja Modigh performs nordic folk songs, Georgian polyphony and American old time. 35 min. Seglora church

2-2.30pm
Sing along with the actors of Lill-Skansen Theatre and the Wandering Orchestra. Tingsvallen Stage

3-3.30pm
Music by the Wandering Orchestra and Lill-Skansen Theatre actors. The Bollnäs Square

3.30-4.15pm
Performance of Swedish folk dance with Skansen’s folk dancers and the Skansen folk musicians. Tingsvallen Stage

With reservation for changes in the programme.

About the Midsummer celebration

Just as in other parts of Europe the festival centred round an ancient agricultural ritual involving the entire village. Elsewhere the villagers made a great bonfire but in these latitudes the lightest night of the year was not the right time for dancing around a fire! So the bonfires were replaced by another ancient summer tradition; that of the maypole. Maypoles are believed to be part of an old fertility rite, the pole being a phallus that "impregnates" Mother Nature. It was hoped that properly celebrating this rite would help to give a good harvest in the autumn.

Midsummer night was also believed to be a time of powerful and secret forces. Everything was animated: the dew, the flowers, the twigs of the trees and the water in the wells. People also claimed that if a young woman placed a bouquet of seven or nine different flowers (the traditions vary) under her pillow that night she would dream of her future love. She must remain alone while picking the flowers and observe total silence. A flower from the churchyard increased the magical powers of the bouquet, as did picking flowers from the banks of three different roads at a crossroads.

Midsummer today is a national holiday in Sweden. Families and friends meet and eat pickled herring and new potatoes washed down with schnapps and beer. Camping is a popular activity at this lovely time of the year while numerous people flee the cities for their summer cottages. Wherever people live they seek out a place where a maypole is raised and there is dancing and games – like the famous 'frog dance' (små grodorna) - for the children. Midsummer is celebrated in Sweden on the weekend closest to June 24 which is officially Midsummer's Day.

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