Tomorrow it’s Midsummer Eve here in Sweden. It’s the night when the sun never sets. Originally it was the same as the summer solstice but that’s not the case anymore, so it isn’t really the night when the sun never sets, it’ll probably be down for an hour or two. Midsummer is however one of the most important days of the year. We eat pickled herring, new potatoes with fresh dill, sour cream, and chives. We dance around a maypole, and I probably shouldn’t mention the amount of schnapps being consumed.
But Midsummer isn’t only about eating, drinking, and dancing, though that is big part of it all. It’s also about the magic. This is the night to gather herbs for medicine, the nature has special powers. You’ll stay healthy if you roll around naked in the dew on the midsummer night. And if you aren’t married, all you have to do is pick seven different flowers, put them under your pillow, and you’ll dream about the person you will marry.
A word of caution, though. This is a night when many Swedes decides to take a dip in a river or a lake, and on this particular night that can have disastrous consequences. You see here in Scandinavia we have a male water nymph called the Neck. He’ll often appear sitting on a rock in the middle of a stream, playing his violin. The songs he plays are hypnotising and will either make people dance themselves to death or lure them into the water where they’ll drown. And on Midsummer Eve he’s extra greedy…
But I have a sweet spot for the Neck—I mean how often do you run into naked men sitting on a rock playing an instrument?—and therefore I put him in one of my stories, Silent Woods.
Sign up for my Mailing List and get a free copy!