The Seven Flowers

While Mediterranean countries celebrate summer solstice with large gatherings lighting bonfires and fireworks on the beach, Scandinavian countries celebrate the arrival of the summer season with some rituals that connect them with their pagan, agricultural past.
Swedish folk traditions for Midsommar are said to date back to the 16th century, where festivities initially centered on a celebration of fertility and the good harvests that were about to come at the end of summer. Villagers would meet together to raise up large poles decorated with herbs and flowers and would sing and dance around it during the longest and brightest day of the year. They would also decorate their houses with flower garlands and wreaths.
One of the most beautiful traditions is the ritual of The Seven Flowers. According to an old legend, if you pick seven flowers from seven different fields the night before the midsummer celebrations, and put it under your pillow, your future husband will appear in your dreams. It is obviously a reminder of a past where women ‘should’ all find a husband, but it also recalls back a time where the magical power of flowers and plants was essential in daily life.

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