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Midsummer Realness

Winter is coming. Yes, summer solstice is gone (longest day in the year) so that only means one thing… this is going down! Well, not literally but now days will start getting shorter as we head up towards winter; that didn’t mean that Swedes didn’t enjoy at its fullest this day. Although weather may be a variable that could affect drastically your plans, this year Sun shinned and temperature was +25º. Midsummer, or midsommar in Swedish, translate in real life to maypoles, dancing, and large gatherings in- but mostly outside cities. Swedes build a maypole by collecting flowers early in the day and later in the evening they begin to dance around it while chanting “små grodorna” or the small frogs 🐸 song! Although this is the “traditional” way to do it, I had the chance to enjoy it in a “foreign” kind of way 🙂

Midsummer birthday part-ay!

One of my closest friends was born exactly on midsummer, so he decided to throw a midsummer birthday party! What a genius! As people tend to head out from the city, a friend of a friend has a house near Ingarö (20min from Stockholm) which he decided to lend for the midsummer/birthday party. We headed there and we had a super nice and chilled barbecue. Oh yes, barbecues happen everywhere throughout whole Sweden; nonetheless, as temperatures rise across the country, bans came into place for barbecues taking place in public spaces. Did you know that little more than 10 % of the wildfires caused in Sweden during 1998 and 2014 were attributed to grilling! That’s a lot! So no surprise authorities have been introducing this type of ban.

View from Ingarö

Despite we didn’t construct our own maypole, we enjoyed the celebration doing the second best thing Swedes like to do during Summer, swimming! To be honest I’m a bit skeptic of swimming in “open” waters mostly when it comes to Nordic waters, as they are cold for this Caribbean boy; nonetheless, I did enjoy jumping and swimming around with friends from time to time. An important thing to highlight is the “white elephant” on the Baltic sea everyone should be talking about! Eutrophication! This sea is highly polluted by a huge amount of nutrients dispossessed by many industries which have access to it; as a matter of fact, the oxygen levels are so low that this sea barely contains any marine life at all (read more here). The above doesn’t mean that is not swimmable, but that marine life can barely develop here.

How to end a good midsummer day.

Although some people decide to stay over the weekend in the summer houses, we decided to go back to the city and enjoy a glass of wine in one of the few open places in Stockholm!

What do you think? Craving to taste the experience of Swedish midsummer? I assure you that Sweden, Stockholm, and KTH’s student life will offer everything to create amazing memories!

What’s warm as the Sun and spicy as a jalapeño? My home country México. My name is Fernando and I came to Sweden to study the master’s programme in Sustainable Technology at KTH. Come, join me to learn and understand the importance of having a sustainable lifestyle, and where else to do this than in Sweden?