Join us at ASI to celebrate one of Sweden’s most joyous and traditional festivals – no Nordic heritage needed!
Summer is short in both Minnesota and the Nordic regions, making Midsommar one of the most festive days of the year – a time to get outside and and enjoy the high-point of the season. Whether you’re a festival regular, or just curious what the holiday is all about, there is something for everyone at ASI’s popular event. Be sure to make a midsommarkrans (flower head wreath) and prepare to dance and sing around the midsommarstång (midsummer pole).
Learn what frogs sing in Swedish! Join us when we raise the midsommar pole, then dance in rings and sing to traditional midsommar tunes.
An outdoor stage with live music all day will feature Scandinavian folk music and special Swedish guests Maria & Anders Larsson.
Get your Swede on! There will be Nordic know-how sessions through the day, including kulokk (Norwegian herding calls) and birch bark love knot rings!
Family activities around every corner including story time, flower head wreath making, and a Midsommar Seek & Find.
Special pop-up shopping, including Swedish clogs from Troentorp/Baståd
Please note: No discounts or special museum passes are accepted during festivals. FIKA and the Museum are only open during “Festival Hours” on this day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
And now for a little history. . .
Midsummer (Midsommar) has long been considered a magical night, especially for love, and it is still a popular time for weddings. It was originally celebrated on June 24 to commemorate John the Baptist, but in 1953 in Sweden, it was moved to the nearest Saturday. Because of the popularity of the festival in Minnesota, ASI has tried to coordinate with other Nordic organizations so we’re not all holding events on the same day (hence our date of June 16!).
In agrarian times, Midsommar celebrations were held to welcome the season of fertility and many plants were said to acquire healing powers on that one night. It was also considered a good time to find a fortune or tell the future. Since the 6th century, bonfires were lit around Europe, and as early as the 16th century, people in some areas dressed up as “green men” and decorated houses with foliage and raised tall leafy poles to dance around. Young people also liked to visit holy springs and drink the water, and girls kept watch for their husband-to-be in the water’s reflections.
Included in museum admission: $10 adults; $7 ages 62+; $5 ages 6-18 and students with ID; free for ASI members.