Midsommar 2006

In modern Sweden, Midsummer’s Eve and Midsummer’s Day (Midsommarafton and Midsommardagen)are celebrated from the eve of the Saturday between June 20 – 26. It is arguably the most important holiday of the year, and one of the most uniquely Swedish in the way it is celebrated, even if it has been influenced by other countries long ago. The main celebrations take place on the Friday, and the traditional events include raising and dancing around a huge maypole. One typical dance is the frog dance. Before the maypole is raised, greens and flowers are collected and used to cover the entire pole.

Raising and dancing around a maypole (majstången or midsommarstången) is an activity that attracts families and many others. People dancing around the pole listen to traditional music and many wear traditional folk costumes. The year’s first potatoes, pickled herring, sour cream, and possibly the first strawberries of the season are on the menu. Drinking songs are aso important at this feast, and many drink heavily.

Midsummer Dance by Anders Zorn, 1897

Because Midsummer is one of the times of the year when magic is believed to be the strongest, it was a good night to perform rituals to look into the future. Traditionally, young people pick bouquets of seven or nine different flowers and put them under their pillow in the hope of dreaming about their future spouse. In the past it was believed that herbs picked at Midsmmer were highly potent, and water from springs could bring good health. Greenery placed over houses and barns were supposed to bring good fortune and health to people and livestock; this old tradition of decorating with greens continues, even though most don’t take it seriously. To decorate with greens was called att maja (to “may”) and may be the origin of the word majstång, maja coming originally from the month May. Other researchers say the term came from German merchants who raised the maypole in June because the Swedish climate made it impossible to find the necessary greens and flowers in May, and continued to call it a maypole. Today, however, it is most commonly called a midsommarstång. In earlier times, small spires wrapped in greens were erected; this probably predates the maypole tradition, which is believed by many to have come from the continent in the Middle Ages. Others argue that some form of Midsummer pole occured in Sweden during the pre-Christian times, and was a phallic fertility symbol, meant to impregnate the earth, but as there were no records from those times it cannot be proven, and this idea might just be a modern interpretation of the poles form. The earliest historical mention of the maypole in Sweden is from the Middle Ages. Midsummer was however linked to an ancient fertility festival which was adapted into St. Johans day by the church, even though it retained many pagen traditions, as the Swedes were slow to give up the old heathen customs. The connection to fertility is naturally linked to the time of year. Many young people became passionate at Midummer, and this was accepted, probably because it resulted in more childbirths in March which was a good time for children to be born.

To many Swedes this holiday is seen as a holiday of partying, and as the start of the summer. The cities become almost deserted as most people travel to the country, often to their summer cottages, to celebrate. Many Swedes would rather have Midsummer’s Eve as their National Day. Midsummer rivals Christmas as the most important holiday of the year.

Kristianstad

this city is under the sea level… -2m81. they have to pump the water to the sea like in Holland. i didn´t know it…

Eskilstuna

still hidden but no more tomorrow (if i catch the train and survive to the 9 hours in it…)
we will then see how it´s growing …

Kent

http://www.kent.nu/

Tar av sig tröjan
ett födelsemärke
fläckar hans hud
och genom fönstret
är han skapad som en gud
Hon målar läpparna röda
från hålen där de sprack
och framför TV:n
blir hennes hud
Blek & Gul
Framför TV:n
blir vemsomhelst ful
Jag hatar dig
Du är…

Jag håller handen för
men där finns ett hål
så jag ser ändå
om du visste hur löjlig
du ser ut
och jag springer förbi
slår på bilar väcker larm
Jag är pojken
som sköt raketen
i sin egen hand
Ingen kan laga
en trasig hand
Jag hatar dig
Du är…

Landskrona

ah, Landskrona… it was the town where begann our trip today….

The city Landskrona was founded at the location of Scania’s best natural harbour, as a means of King Eric of Pomerania’s anti-Hanseatic policy, intended to compete with Danish towns under Hanseatic control. A Carmelite monastery was founded in 1410, English merchants were granted the privileges in a royal charter in 1412, and the town itself was chartered in 1413. Landskrona was burned by the Hanseatic League in 1428.The town supported the deposed king Christian II of Denmark (1525), and opposed the Reformation in Denmark (1535), and in both cases found itself among the defeated. The Reformist King Christian III of Denmark abstained however from retaliation, and instead founded a castle to protect the harbour. The castle, built where the monastery had been situated until the Reformation, was completed by 1560.

After the Scanian lands was ceded to Sweden in 1658, the good harbour and the strong fort were reasons for plans to make Landskrona a commercial center of the acquired territory with extraordinary privileges for foreign trade. The castle was reinforced by bastions, the area inside the moats extended to 400×400 meters, the castle was considered the strongest and most modern in Scandinavia, but was temporarily lost to the Danes after a comparably short siege July 8-August 2, 1676. The commandant Colonel Hieronymus Lindeberg was consequently sentenced to death for high treason.

The citadell of Landskrona

Any further plans for Landskrona were however not realized, for various reasons. The continued Swedish-Danish wars favoured Karlskrona, located at a safer distance from Denmark, replacing Landskrona as a naval base, the fortifications were discontinued, and Malmö remained the most important commercial town – despite Malmö lacking a harbour until the late 18th century. The fortifications at Landskrona were expanded considerably between 1747 and 1788, but were condemned in 1822, whereafter the garrison was abolished in 1869. The walls and moats of the fortifications are today a beautiful recreational area, commonly known as the Landskrona Citadel.

And

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E.T: lives in Landskrona

Ven

Hven or Ven is a small Swedish island in the Öresund strait, between Scania and Zealand.The island was historically under Danish rule, but it fell to Swedish hands in 1660, two years after the Treaty of Roskilde. Astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) built two observatories here, Uranienborg and Stjerneborg.

Hven has ferries to Landskrona, Helsingborg and, in the summer only, to Copenhagen.