Midsommer in Manhattan

The Swedes take their midsummer celebration seriously. Neither drenching rain or dramatic thunderstorms were enough to dampen the partying that thousands enjoyed during the solstice in Battery Park this week. I have never seen so many blondes and flower garlands in the one place before. Some wore traditional costumes and colors, blue and yellow was in abundance and even a few vikings came out for the day. There was classic food like crepes, and seafood and salty licorice. Even more amazing was the work the Scandi’s invested as part of the tradition, making their garlands by hand, building a colorful maypole and then joining hands to dance in huge concentric circles. Maybe it’s in the genes. After all those long freezing northern winters, the joy of the sun finally coming – and then not setting for days, must be fabulous indeed. No wonder the time is especially magical – one woman said when she was a child she was told to pick 7 wildflowers, put them under her pillow and then dream about her one true love. Her husband glowed, so it must have worked…

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