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May pole
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Midsummer

One hot day in June every year, Swedish people become a little more excited than usual. They prepare yummy food, make flower crowns, and go out to celebrate with family and friends. Now, what exactly are they celebrating? Read on and find out!

Each year between June 21 and 24, different European countries celebrate Midsummer’s Eve and Midsummer Day, including Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway. Midsummer marks the longest day of the year, and celebrates the warmth and light of summer

Traditionally, people prepare their houses for Midsummer celebrations by decorating their homes with colorful flowers and wreaths. They cook food such as pickled herring and boiled potatoes (with toppings such as sour cream, chopped chives, dill, and sliced eggs) for snacks, and will later have a barbeque with sweet pies and strawberries.

One of the most popular things to do for Midsummer Day is to decorate the May Pole, which consists of two perpendicular poles and two circles, as seen in the picture on the left. Children and adults enjoy decorating the pole with beautiful, vibrant flowers and leaves–the only tricky part is raising the pole!

Dancing around the May Pole is another fun activity, where people form a circle and rotate around the pole. If there are a lot of people, there can be two circles that go in opposite directions. Children love to sing the traditional Swedish song, Små grodorna (little frogs)

Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.
Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se.
Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.
Ej öron, ej öron, ej svansar hava de.

Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa.
Kou ack ack ack, kou ack ack ack,
kou ack ack ack ack kaa

In English, these lyrics are translated as:
The small frogs, the small frogs are funny to see.
The small frogs, the small frogs are funny to see.
No ears, no ears, no tails have they.
No ears, no ears, no tails have they.

Quack quack quack, quack quack quack,
Quack quack quack quacka.
Quack quack quack, quack quack quack,
Quack quack quack quacka.

To partake in the celebration, here’s how you can make your own  Midsummer flower crown!

What you’ll need: Scissors, Piping and flowers

 1. Lay out all your supplies. Then take two to three pieces of piping and twist the ends together to make one long piece.

2. Measure the long piece of piping around your head. If too small, add more pieces of piping. Twist the two ends together to create a circle.

3. Cut about eight to ten pieces of piping into two inch pieces.

4.  Start cutting the flowers off. Keep about two to three inches of the stem, so you can secure it to the piping.

5. Place the flower in the desired direction on the crown. To secure the flower take one of the cut pieces of piping and twist it around the flower stem and the crown piping tightly. Continue until the crown is completely full and there are no spaces or holes between flowers.

If you and your family are ready to celebrate like the Swedes, Midsummer Eve falls on June 21st this year. Ha det så roligt! (Have fun!)

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