Sweden Unit: Midsommar Campout / Payson Canyon

Campout number 6 for 2019! We went to Payson Canyon and we couldn’t have had a more perfect campsite to celebrate Swedish Midsommar. I loved spending time in the forest. My Swedish blood was felt so at home. 🙂

Scandinavia has long, dark winters, so the arrival of summer is a big deal throughout the Nordic countries. In Sweden, Midsommar’s Eve is one of the most important days of the year, competing Christmas with its festive spirit and traditions. Friday night was Midsommar’s Eve so it was perfect timing for a campout.

Traditionally, Midsommar was celebrated on June 24th, the feast day of John the Baptist, but the holiday has its roots in a pre-Christian solstice festival. Rather than trying to stamp out such pagan festivals, the early Catholic Church found it useful to combine them by associating them with Christian celebrations. (the pagan midwinter festival of Yule into the Christian celebration of Christmas.)

Midsommar was considered to be a time of magic, and anything to do with nature was thought to have a special power. Gathering flowers to weave into wreaths and crowns was a way to harness nature’s magic to ensure good health throughout the year. Weaving crowns of flowers is still a major part of any Midsommar celebration.

We gathered some wild flowers and made a flower crown.

For dinner, we made Swedish potatoes with dill cream sauce, and salmon. Both dishes were so delicious! Our best camping meal yet. We also ate some inlagd sill (pickled herring), knäckebröd (Swedish crisp bread), and creamed cod roe (caviar). Jenna also made a traditional Midsommar layer cake – GräddtĂĄrta med Jordgubbar (cream cake with strawberries).

In the morning before most everyone got up, I spent some quiet time walking around, listening to the birds. So peaceful.

Even though we were celebrating the beginning of summer, we were wearing coats and drinking apple cider. Haha. It was pretty cold.

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