Midsummer at Kulturens Östarp
Midsummer is one of the most important holidays in Sweden, and stems from pagan traditions. A maypole, or midsummer pole,
is dressed in greenery and decorated with flowers. The pole is raised and everyone dances around it. Midsummer is especially
celebrated in Dalarna, on the border to Norway, and in the north of Sweden where the sun does not set. Kulturens Östarp,
part of Kulturen open-air museum in Lund, arranges a public event to decorate a maypole, dance and celebrate midsummer.
Kulturens Östarp is west of Lund in Skåne, at N 55°36′ 577 and E 013°33′ 447
The maypole with leaves, before being decorated with flowers.
Kulturens Östarp is a living museum, a farm from the mid-19th C that still works with traditional methods and raises old
breeds of farm animals. The main buildings with café and restaurant are behind. There are several other historic buildings
like the water mill to the right. http://www.kulturen.com/besoksinformation/welcome/ostarp-our-farm-from-19th-century/
Möllegården is a traditional farm building from this part of Skåne.
Gamlegården (the old farm) displays of old tools and household items, a garden and several animals.
An old breed of pig that used to be common in this part of Sweden, at Gamlegården.
At Östarp the main midsummer event takes place on the lawn in front of the café and restaurant building.
The maypole rests in the centre. Families come from all over, and especially the villages around Östarp. They
bring blankets to sit on and a picnic basket. Coffee is essential for the adults. The basket might also include
herring, boiled potatoes and sour cream. The day began with rain, but the sun broke through in time to celebrate.
Children collect flowers in the fields around to decorate the maypole.
A group of strong volunteers helps to raise the maypole.
That is the signal to start the celebration.
The singing and dancing around the maypole starts with traditional children’s songs, and even adults join in.
One song involves hopping around on two feet like a frog.
Another involves lifting off like a rocket.
Traditional folk dancers and musicians perform.
Fiddle and accordion are traditional instruments used for folk dancing.
Möllegården and an old wind mill, typical for Skåne, can be seen in the background.
Midsummer is the day you can see your future. Collect seven different flowers, put them under your pillow, and
in your dreams you will see the face of the person you will marry. Many young and unmarried stay up all night.
Recommended for further study: