Sunday, 24 June 2012

Midsummer's Day

I thought I'd share with you some photos of Midsummer. It's that joyous holiday where complete Swedish strangers link hands and dance around a birch clad pole to celebrate, rather obviously, the middle of summer. Summers are a fleeting beauty. This year farmor and farfar, my father's parents, came to visit, but none of the rest of the family were assembled. I hope we soon will be again.

 No, he is not bowing down to the midsummer pole in abject humiliation, though I can understand the confusion. He's the 'bear' in the song 'The Bear is Sleeping.' The rest of the merrymakers link hands and dance in a ring and sing.

Björnen sover                                          The bear is sleeping
björnen sover                                          the bear is sleeping
i sitt lugna bo                                                in his quiet lair
Han är inte farlig                                      He is not dangerous
bara man är varlig                               as long as you're careful
men man kan dock                                           But you cannot
men man kan dock                                            but you cannot
honom aldrig tro!                                             truly trust him!

It sounds better in Swedish. And it rhymes. At the last line, the bear springs to his feet and runs after the others. I wonder if Bear Grylls, should he come to Sweden, would be amused and willing to participate. The people caught by the 'bear' turn into 'bears' themselves, and the circle of life continues.


 Running away in Swedish national dress.

 Those too little to participate found other amusements.

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