It’s Midsummer, Which Means it’s Time For Merrymaking!
In the Swedish calendar, Midsummer is the most important holiday next to Christmas, and what better excuse to party? To bring a bit of summer cheer to the UK, lifestyle experts at Contura share tips on how to celebrate the longest day Swedish-Style.
Although it hasn’t seemed particularly summery yet this year in the UK, the rain is set to ease off and temperatures are creeping up nicely in time for Midsummer weekend revelries.
Midsummer’s Eve in Sweden is a time-honoured ritual; an occasion for groups of friends and families to come together to celebrate the arrival of summer. This year, Swedish Midsummer’s Eve falls on Friday 21 June.
Picture the scene: city streets are deserted as people flock to the countryside, where families gather, campfires are lit, tables are laden with summer treats, maypoles are decorated, and everyone is adorned in flower garlands.
To get us Brits into the Midsummer mood, Catharina Björkman, lifestyle expert at Swedish wood-burning stove company, Contura, gives advice on creating a Midsummer shindig, Swedish-Style.
“Midsummer really is the highlight of the summer in Sweden,” explains Catharina. “It’s a chance to spend time enjoying the outdoors and reconnecting with our surroundings, while catching up with friends and family. The setting is key; a countryside location with communal tables, an area to dance, and space for a campfire as the evening draws in.”
Read on for Catharina’s full tips…
“Typically, Midsummer starts by picking flowers and making wreaths to wear and place around the table. Ready-made wreaths can be picked up from craft stores ready to add decoration. Try adding dried flowers, ribbons and greenery for a simple summer style. Floral garlands can also be worn in the hair, woven into plaits or worn as an Alice band.”
- Outdoor seating
“Communal tables are a must to enjoy a Midsummer feast. Add jam jars of fresh flowers and candles to light in the evening. You could add strings of fairy lights too, for a soft glow and cosy atmosphere – there are so many solar powered options, which means no need to worry about electrics! Bring cushions, chairs and benches to create separate seating areas for groups to gather. Remember, you’re going for a rustic, country look, so avoid anything too contemporary or modern.”
- Outdoor dancing
“Preferably, there should be an outdoor dance floor with a good stereo, DJ, or live band to help you dance the night away in style. Natural flooring such as hessian or woven canvas looks great, but make sure it stands up to lots of dancing feet!
- A Swedish feast
“A typical Midsummer menu features different kinds of pickled herring, boiled new potatoes with fresh dill, soured cream and chives. This is often followed by a grilled dish, such as salmon, chicken or lamb, and for dessert, fresh strawberries, summer berries and cream. A barbeque is a great way to serve a variety of tasty dishes.
“Traditionally, a cold beer or schnapps is served in Sweden. Non-alcoholic cocktails are great for kids and adults alike, and it’s useful to have a glass water dispenser for guests to fill up as they go.”
- Light the campfire
“Dusk is the perfect time to light up a campfire. Make sure it’s safe to do so before proceeding and check if you need permission from the landowner. Fires should be kept small and contained, so as not to harm nearby animals or the environment. Build a fire by stacking dry twigs and kindling as the bottom layer, adding small logs to form a triangle shape. Ensure the fire is fully extinguished before departing.”
“Traditionally, the maypole is raised in an open spot for ring-dances, usually performed by children. In Sweden, these are decorated with symbols (triangles and circles) and adorned with greenery and flowers. Små grodorna is a traditional Swedish dance and song performed at Midsummer, where groups take turns to dance around the Maypole.”
For more information on Contura, visit www.contura.eu
For more information on Swedish Midsummer, visit www.visitsweden.com/midsummer
Notes to editors:
- Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood. The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.
- Sources detailed in footnotes.
For further press information:
Elsa Findlay/Jo Kendall/Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.
Starting at £1,295, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.
Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 95% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.
Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.
Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.
For more information please visit www.contura.eu