Celebrating Midsommar in Duluth

Swedish Celebration of Summer at Spirit of God Lutheran Church

DULUTH, Minn.- The Swedish community in Duluth spent Sunday celebrating the End of Winter and the beginning of Summer, a holiday called Midsommar.

The sounds of the accordion and the smell of flowers mean summer is here.

“Midsommar in Sweden is about closing up the city it’s about going out to the countryside to the cabins to the fields to the trees to the flowers to celebrate nature,” said Jenn Conboy, President of the Swedish Cultural Society.

“Because now winter is over and summer begins.”

Especially in Duluth the coming of summer is a blessing after the cold.

“After a long winter it’s really nice for everyone to get together,” said Lydia Johnson. “Everybody’s enjoying the summer flowers and just creating, making memories.”

Johnson drove up from Bemidji State University just for Midsommar at the Spirit of God Lutheran Church.

She was inspired by the Swedish celebration to design the cover of the program.

“So the artwork on the front I wanted to create a lot of movement, lots of bright colors, Swedish colors y’know blue, red, yellow,” she said.

“Wanted to make it look very joyful, summery.”

Midsommar is filled with the colors of summer, people making flower crowns and painting wooden horses called Dalahest.

Then, after counting down in Swedish, a maypole is raised. Once up everyone decorates it with wildflowers.

“That’s the big tall pole that we decorate with greens and we put flowers in it and then I will lead and teach 5 ring dances going around the pole,” Conboy said.

While in Sweden the pole is much larger and raised outside, in Duluth the pole was put up inside the church, due to the weather. But there was still enough room for rings of people to dance and sing around.

“They’re from children’s songs actually, so some are very silly.”

No matter the age everyone’s excited that summer is here and they invite you to welcome it with them.

“I would love more people to get involved with this around the community I think we definitely need more people, more young people,” said Johnson.

“I think it’s really great that we continue these traditions.”

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