#3 Sweden (final), June 23, 2000

#3 Sweden/Berlin, June 23, 2000

I was invited to come back to Leksand for the summer stolstice, which the people around Lake Siljan celebrated in grand style.

Many people wore costumes from ‘old’ Sweden and came to the celebration in Churchboats, as they did in times of yore. These people formed a parade through Leksand with fiddlers playing a merry tune.

The Leksand Maypole was raised. This is quite something! A very high pole is pushed into position by a group of people, which have to know the trick! Young girls were wearing flowers in their hair, the fiddles were playing, people were marching and the Maypole was raised!

After the ‘big’ one was up, local people, including Ake and me, went back to raise the smaller pole at Hjortnas, a tiny village.  A procession formed carrying the Maypole with a group of children forming along a fence to watch the procession.  Some were wearing flowers in their hair, and lovely costumes.  And so much blond hair!

Finally, up it went!  Ake (with the tan jacket) has been raising this Maypole for a lot of years!

There was even a small Maypole for the children to raise—clearly they start them early.

A group of fiddlers then paraded down to Lake Siljan.  By this time it had been misting a bit for awhile, but nobody seemed to mind. 

Afterward Ake and I went back to his home on beautiful Lake Siljan to have dinner with his two sons and their sondbos (sweethearts). The young people had cooked a delicious dinner.

After a couple of days, of enjoying beautiful Lake Siljan, I flew home.

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