June 25th, 2006

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Trevlig midsommar!

Sweden has a holiday the weekend nearest to the summer solstice. People generally spend this holiday going out into the country and staying up all night drinking and eating pickled herring with new potatoes. I had no desire to do this and also didn't have the appropriate contacts to do so.

So I went to a misummer fête thing in Hågelby park. This allowed me to observe the other midsummer tradition, which is dancing round a sort of weird cross thing with two circles hanging from its arms [picture, so you can see what on earth I'm on about]. There were lots of people in traditional dress, and you could tell they were real costuming geeks, not like the half-hearted efforts that Stockholm city put on for 6 June. And the musicians had some fun-looking period instruments, even if they were using them to play what sounded almost exactly like Here we go round the mulberry bush, complete with the mimes for all the different domestic chores.

Hågelby is a pretty park in general with views over a lake and a well thought out rock garden and a little collection of farm animals for the edification of urban children. Cutest little piggy ever! There was also a guy running around in a bunny suit, pulling a magician out of a hat, which I thought was cute in a kitschy way. So it was a fun afternoon in all but nothing terribly world-shaking.

Yes, there is a lot of daylight at the moment; it basically hasn't been truly dark at all this week, though at this lattitude there is still a definite period of night between about midnight and 3 am. The thing is that daylight at 10:30 pm doesn't really look any different from daylight at 10:30 am, and dusk-merging-into-dawn at 1 in the morning doesn't look different from dusk at more normal times. So there's not really anything to see worth staying up for.
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    Midsummer music
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