Dancing the Little Frog on Midsummer's Eve in Sweden
Celebrated the first Saturday before June 24th, Stockholm's Midsummer festivities start gearing up on Friday eve in Djurgården Island's Skansen Park. For Swedes, this holiday is second only to Christmas, making it the biggest pagan holiday still (overtly) observed in Europe. Activities involve erecting (ahem) large maypoles covered in leafy green garlands, traditional dances (“the little frog” anyone?), copious drunken singing, and, of course, food and alcohol consumed in barbaric quantities (new potatoes, herring, and schnapps). Is it any surprise that romance is also in the air when such merriment ensues? More than a few Swedish couples have misty memories of their first midsummer’s night together.