Midsummer is the celebration of the longest day of the year. It is one of the oldest celebrations in human history.
One can see the original pagan roots steeped in the current practices of midsummer—the traditional dresses, dancing around the maypole, wearing flowers in your hair, and celebrating fertility in many ways and always with copious amounts of food and drinks.
When is midsummer?
Many European countries celebrate midsummer (midsommar in Swedish) between June 21-24 and all have their variations on the traditions based on the cultural practices and history of the region. Even some states in the US celebrate midsummer with bonfires, parades, and folk dancing.
A Scandinavian midsummer crown
In Sweden, the folklore specifies that midsummer wreaths/garlands/crowns (midsommarkrans), Scandinavian midsummer crowns, are made of nine types of flowers. The various flowers add different colors and shapes to your wreath.
Choosing which flowers you want for your midsommarkrans is totally up to you and depends on what you can find. If a field of flowers is difficult for you to find, you can always head to your local flower shop to source your flowers.
While you’re picking flowers in a field, grab a few extra. The myth says that if a young lady places seven different types of flowers under her pillow on midsummer, she’ll dream of the man whom she’s going to marry.
Note: Happily married women should skip this step—there’s powerful magic at play here, and we don’t want a midsummer’s night dream to break up a happy union. Now we know where Shakespeare got his inspiration for his play.
Supplies for your Scandinavian midsummer crown
You’re going to need:
- Flowers (a bunch—probably more than you think necessary)
- Floral wire
- A plastic ring or flexible branch for the base
- Optional: satin ribbons
Steps to make your crown
1. Go out into a field and pick any flowers you want for your wreath—just not your neighbor’s tulips.
2. Bend a flexible branch and secure with your floral wire. You can cheat and buy a plastic/cloth head wreath and remove all artificial flowers so you can add your own (I cheated a bit because the plastic base was sturdier and more comfortable to resize to fit my head than the branches I found).
3. Clip your flowers down to 4-6 cm so the stems aren’t too long but long enough to be attached to the base. Longer stems will add to the thickness of your crown, so it is advised to trim them a bit.
4. Arrange and add your flowers so that the heads of the flowers cover the stems of the flowers that came before to your base with your floral wire. Continue this process until your crown is finished.
5. Finish your midsummer crown with pretty ribbons and go dance around the maypole.
Lessons learned and tips for beginners:
This was my first midsummer floral wreath, and I was unsure about everything—how many flowers to pick, what types of flowers to pick, and how to attach the flowers to the base.
Here are the tips
#1: Pick more flowers than you think you’ll need in every color (especially if you’re making more than one crown).
To make the crown look full and lush, you’ll want some bushy flowers. For example, buttercup flowers are pretty but they aren’t large flowers. It takes a lot of buttercups to be seen when they are bunched together on your crown.
#2: Intersperse some green leaves to give it a more bohemian/relaxed look and to add some volume.
#3: If you run out of flowers, go out and pick more!
#4: Wildflowers start to wilt after picking. Keep them fresh in a bucket of water if you aren’t going to make your crown right away.
#5: You can’t mess up! All flowers are pretty so the outcome will look beautiful. No stress.
If you’re not very crafty or feel nervous about taking on a large craft project, then this activity is for you. You really can’t go wrong with beautiful flowers.
If I can create something that looks beautiful, then anyone can do it!
Enjoy this simple Scandinavian midsummer crown activity with your kids and have fun celebrating the beginning of summer.
Happy Midsummer! Glad Midsommar!
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