Swedish Unit: Midsommar Maypole Celebration

On Saturday evening, we went up to Salt Lake for the Midsommar celebration that the Swedish Heritage Society puts together every year.

Before we left home, I made the girls some flower crowns to wear to the celebration. I would have made one for myself as well but we ran out of flowers.
We watched them decorate some of the Midsommar maypole (Midsommarstången) with real greenery and flowers and then they raised it up to stand in the air. After the maypole was raised, we all danced to some traditional Midsommar Swedish children’s songs including Små grodorna (Little Frogs), Morsgrisar är vi allihopa (we are all mama’s boys and girls), and Vi äro musikanter (we are musicians). Such funny traditions. Haha.

“The focus of Midsommar celebrations is the maypole (or Midsommar pole) decorated with greenery and flowers. As it turns out, the maypole is a comparatively new part of Swedish Midsommar tradition. It came to Sweden in the late Middle Ages from Germany, where the pole was decorated with leaves and raised on May 1 (hence the name).

Since spring comes later to Sweden it was hard to find the greenery to decorate the pole on May 1, so the tradition was moved to Midsommar. Some sources also attribute the perpetuation of the term majstång, or maypole, to the archaic Swedish word maja, meaning “to decorate with green leaves.”” (realscandinavia.com)

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