My first midsummer experience

This is how I celebrated Midsommar for the first time during my studies at Chalmers. 
Midsummer celebrations Chalmers

Sena spent her first midsummer in a cottage in the swedish countryside. 

As the summer approached, I noticed the Swedes I knew were busy preparing for Midsommar. Everyone I spoke to was talking about finishing up things before Midsommar, and they had started making their celebration plans weeks in advance. Many people go to the countryside to celebrate this weekend. I celebrated my first Midsommar in nature away from the city with my friends.

I booked a cottage with five of my friends from both Sweden and other countries in Mellerud, which is a city two hours by train from Gothenburg. We prepared our own food and participated in various activities such as canoeing and stand-up paddling. We set off on Friday morning to go to Mellerud by train. After we did our grocery shopping in Mellerud, our Swedish friend's parents took us to our cottage by car. Because the cottage is located next to Sweden's biggest lake Vänern it is a little bit far from the center of Mellerud.

The cottage we stayed in was a house that we found online. It could fit six people and it belonged only to us this weekend. This cottage had bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a veranda with a lake view. After placing our belongings, we swam in the lake and enjoyed the sun. Honestly, I didn't expect the temperature to be this good. In the afternoon, we returned to our cottage to prepare our Midsommar wreath and meal. For the wreath, we used 7 different flowers! 😊 

midsummer mealTraditionally, a Midsommar meal consists of boiled new potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and chives, and grilled salmon. While we ate our meal, we were singing traditional Midsommar songs. I noticed a detail in one of the Midsommar songs that surprised me that this song was a song that children sang and danced to in my country: ‘Små Grodorna!’ (The little frog). After doing some research, I learned that the origin of this song is in French, but it has Swedish and Turkish versions. In Midsommar, the Swedes dance around the pole and do frog moves to this song, but we skipped this part because we were tired.

On the second day, we were canoeing, pedaling, and swimming the whole day. I tried canoeing for the first time in my life and we went to all the islands close to us. While my friends were cooking spaghetti for dinner, I prepared ‘Menemen’, a Turkish dish which is one of the favourite summer meals in my country. It is prepared with fresh vegetables like tomatoes, onion, red and green peppers, and eggs. Afterward, we ate the first strawberries of summer with cream which is another Swedish Midsommar tradition. 

After cleaning the cottage on our last morning there, my friend Bahare and I set out to walk to the Mellerud train station. During our 1.5-day of hiking, we stayed in a tent and passed through the Swedish farms and summer houses.

After studying hard for two semesters and complying with the regulations and rules for a social life during the pandemic, it was so refreshing to start the summer vacation with Midsommar celebrations. Hopefully, we will celebrate as a bigger crowd the next time! 😊

Author: Sena​

Page manager Published: Mon 20 Jun 2022.