Glad Midsommar (Happy Midsummer)! Today is the Summer Solstice, which is the most anticipated and joyfully celebrated holiday in Sweden. (Or so I hear. We have yet to visit!) Since Jeff and I recently received our Ancestry DNA results (and made the surprise discovery that Jeff is Swedish, too) it seems like the right time to celebrate Midsommar on the blog!
So, it transpires that I am only 12% Swedish. I was expecting more, due to my heredity. For some reason, I have always felt Swedish. It’s probably because it’s a shared ancestry from both my parents and because I have many sweet stories of my mom’s Swedish ancestors, photographs, and physical objects that they owned and even made. One of my great aunts has been to the old, family home in Småland (pronounced: smoh-lahnd), so I can visualize their lives in a quaint, red house, by a river. I hope to share more pictures of all these things in a future post!
It should come as no surprise that I have been slowly and steadily collecting Swedish folk costumes over the last fifteen years! This is a photo of Emma, from a couple of years ago. I bought her costume on Tradera, which is a Swedish auction site, similar to eBay. Jeff jokingly calls it “Swede-Bay”. Shipping from Scandinavia can be expensive, so this costume cost a little over $100! (I plan on sharing my best Tradera shopping tips in an upcoming post.)
Look how darling it is, though! This particular costume is from Dalarna province, Leksand parish. On holidays, the little girls there wear yellow, flannel dresses,
handwoven striped aprons,
floral shawls and bonnets,
and little purses. (External pockets.)
This particular costume even came with a silver shawl pin and a gilt, enamel bracelet.
The pin has little dangles that are similar to their more famous cousins; the solje, which are worn with Norwegian bunads (folk costumes).
Midsommar seems to be the holiday that Swedes are most likely to wear a folk costume, especially the children. It doesn’t get more Swedish than swinging in a birch tree on Midsommar!
Since acquiring this outfit for Emma, I have also found another outfit for Eliza on eBay,
and a boy’s Leksand outfit for Elliott on Tradera.
Check out these swanky, old-fashioned, drop-front britches! (Have fun trying to go to the bathroom while wearing these, kids.)
Here they all were, a couple years ago, posing by our Swedish Mora clock (a miracle find on Craigslist).
However, now we have two more kiddos to costume, and Elliott has certainly outgrown his little boy folk costume! It takes years for me to find these costumes (and believe me, I am constantly looking) and they are expensive! Plus, I’m always nervous that they might spill on these priceless, dry-clean-only materials. What is a costume crazy mama to do? I guess we’re going to have to make our own! Stay tuned. In the meanwhile, go dance outside, eat some strawberries, and celebrate the coming of summer with your loved ones! Glad Midsommar!