SOCIAL ACTIVITY. Sweden’s Nest 2 organised a traditional Midsummer celebration with good food, a pentathlon, a speech and other activities for both adults and children.
A large number of comrades convened at Jimmy and Julia’s farm in Skara to celebrate Midsummer and honour our ancestors by competing in Viking games and continuing the traditions of the summer solstice.
The day began with socialising and coffee, while the organisers gave a rundown of the various plans and rules of conduct for the day.
Next, work got underway in several areas. The kitchen team prepared lunch, women and children decorated the maypole, and others set up their tents. When the maypole was ready, all the participants gathered to watch it be raised. The maypole was in the shape of an Algiz rune, the symbol of the tree of life.
Afterwards, it was time for lunch. An extensive smorgasbord was laid out, with several different kinds of herring, new potatoes, cold-smoked salmon, boiled eggs produced on the farm, prinskorv sausages, meatballs and more.
Next, everyone gathered at the maypole again to listen to Fredrik Vejdeland speak. Much like his speech at the Nest’s Ostara celebration earlier in the year, this talk was primarily meant for children, but was also suitable for adults. In an interview about the Ostara event, Vejdeland revealed he will hold speeches for children at the four major festivals of the year. The next occasion will be the Autumnal Equinox.
First, the speaker explained the general meaning of Midsummer and then went into the magical rites surrounding this summer solstice celebration. The speech sparked some laughter when Vejdeland recounted the rites, which in most cases involved nudity, tricks to increase potency or inventive female methods to ensnare men. Vejdeland summed up Midsummer as a holiday of love, children, family, the people and the gods.
Afterwards, it was time for the pentathlon for the adults, while swimming and water games were organised for the children. The older children formed a mighty cheering squad that helped spur one team to victory. The disciplines this year were team wrestling, archery, rock carrying, a Nordic knife duel and a quiz. The winning team then competed in a planking contest to select a winner. The winner of this year’s pentathlon was the Nordic Storm guitarist Timo, proving he is not just a talented musician.
When the pentathlon was over, the guests were treated to a delicious and creatively made cake with a mixture of vanilla, rhubarb and strawberry jam, topped with edible flowers.
By this time it was evening, and many guests retired to a bathing place to cool down, after having spent a full day in the blazing sun.
Once they had returned from their evening dip, it was time for socialising and a dinner consisting of grilled pork cutlets and homemade potato salad. At this point, those who wanted to consume alcohol were allowed to do so, and the guests were also treated to Midsummer schnapps. As almost all the participants decided to remain at the celebration, many friendly conversations took place long into the late hours.