Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Midsummer!

Ivar Arosenius'  Self Portrait Midsummer, 1906

Even the most dark and brooding artists among us come out to celebrate midsummer
this weekend in June. Flowers, sun and open air combined with good friends
and seasonal culinary treats - think strawberries - make this ancient celebration
of Summer an event not to be missed.

Celebrations started last night with the raising of midsummer poles and bonfires in Stockholm
and Helsinki to Scandinavian enclaves as far flung as Oregon and Florida. During the 18th and 19th centuries in Scandinavia the Midsummer Festival was one of the few times a year that rural communities could come together and the costumes and preperations for the celebration were often elaborate. Hans Christian Anderson recorded his trip to the Midsummer Festival in Leksand...

"When I left the parsonage in the evening, the moon, in its first
quarter, was up. The May-pole was raised; the little steamer, 'Prince
Augustus,' with several small vessels in tow, came over the Siljan
lake and into the elv; a musician sprang on shore, and began to play
dances under the tall wreathed May-pole."

"And there was soon a merry circle around it--all so happy, as if
the whole of life were but a delightful summer night."

Leksand churchboats on the shore of Lake Siljan by Wilhelm Marstrand, 1853.

"Next morning was the Midsummer Festival. It was Sunday, the 24th of
June, and a beautiful sunshiny day it was. The most picturesque sight
at the festival is to see the people from the different parishes
coming in crowds, in large boats over Siljan's lake, and landing on
its shores. We drove out to the landing-place, Barkedale, and before
we got out of the town, we met whole troops coming from
there, as well as from the mountains."

Today Rhonda and I will make wildflower crowns with our families...

Indulge in fresh strawberry cakes...

Gather good friends near...

and Wish Everyone a Very Happy Midsummer!


Photos: Ivar Arosenius at the National Gallery, Blomenterkuans from,
Dog with Wreath from, Strawberry cake and recipies at


  1. I've been reading about midsummer from all my European friends. I love the strawberry cakes and thos flower wreaths you are making. The dog is love love.

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  3. Thank you, thank you, for commenting on my blog. I adore reading everything you are doing. Each of your images are divine. Happy Weekend from Los Angeles..