Glad Midsommar! And happy Summer Solstice~
I hope you are doing well! I wanted to share with you some photos of a little Midsummer adventure we had recently to Lindsborg, Kansas, where we celebrated Midsommer Swedish style….
You may have heard of dala horses, but have you ever seen dala chickens? While we were in town we visited Hemslodj and they have the most amazing collection of folksy animals handpainted in the Dalarna region of Sweden. These figures, which got their start as carved wooden toys that farmers made by their firesides on long dark winter days, became a cottage industry of their own in the 19th century and are now a widely recognized symbol of Sweden! I have several dala horses and have included them in my own artwork. But it’s not just horses you can buy in the Dalarna style….I even saw a Dala Pig! If your interested in having some Swedish treasures of your own, Hemslodj also has a fantastic website and catalog that you can order from no matter where you live in the world— you can find their site HERE. And I always love when their catalog arrives in the mail! So many fun Scandi things you never even dreamed about!
Midsummer is the celebration of the Summer Solstice and then lengthening warm days of the season. After a cold, dark winter, the height of summer is a cherished time in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. The town of Lindsborg in Kansas was settled by Swedish immigrants just after the Civil War, and it has managed to keep a firm grasp of its Scandi heritage for well over a hundred years.
The entire community, especially its students, turn out to celebrated beloved Swedish holidays such as St. Lucia Day, Midsummer, and even “Vaffledagan’ (Waffle Day)! I happened to be in Lindsborg last March for the celebration of Vaffledagan and it was one of the most delightful things I ever saw— everyone enjoying waffles! People even DRESSED as waffles! I love a town that can so enthusiastically embrace a theme, and Lindsborg is amazing at it!
While in Lindsborg, we stayed at the Drom Sott Inn, (Drom Sott means “Sweet Dreams” in Swedish) right in the heart of downtown. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this cozy B&B. It is decorated in a style remeniscent of a Carl Larsson painting, and has undergone some recent updates (new bathrooms, etc) that are nicely done without losing the cozy old fashioned flare of the old building and 19th century Scandinavian style. The lobby is filled with comfortable Swedish pine furniture (I did a lot of knitting and visiting in here, and the kids played a board game they bought at the local toy shop) and the windows are filled with potted red geraniums, which are iconic to Sweden and Carl Larsson art.
Each morning there is also a full breakfast that is inspired by Sweden— there were Swedish meatballs every morning! The first morning we had a buffet of Swedish pancakes and the next there were breakfast casseroles and a variety of fruits, yogurts and of course— Swedish meatballs! When I stayed here in March for a workshop with the Kansas Wheat Weavers, I had a traditional Swedish breakfast, complete with pickled herring! They really go all-out on giving you a cozy Swedish experience at The Drom Sott Inn— I highly recommend it! They are the sweetest too, everyone who works there.
One of the highlights of the Midsummer celebrations in Lindsborg are their Swedish Folk Dancers-– made up of high school students from the area. They started dancing in the morning, and danced all day long at various times, up until the raising of the Midsummer Pole at the Heritage Park in Lindsborg.
A group of Scandinavian dancers from Kansas City also performed that evening, and I loved seeing everyone’s traditional Swedish dress. Each dancer had their own unique outfit, but they all looked wonderful together! By the end of the evening, the entire community was up dancing around the midsummer pole- even my kids 😉 Seemed like ‘a good time was had by all!’
I’m so glad we finally got to experience a Lindsborg Midsummer– we’ve attended several Lucia Fests in Decembers past, but this was our first time to see the little town celebrating summer. And as today is officially the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere— true midsummer!– I hope you get a moment to celebrate as well. Make a flower crown, dance in the garden, and give thanks for the return of warmth and growing times. Glad Midsommer!