Stories from the north
Picking 7 flowers for Midsummer
There’s an old tradition connected to Midsummer’s eve: if you pick 7 different flowers during the night and place them underneath your pillow, you will hopefully dream of your future love. Curious to try?
The magic of Midsummer
Back in the days, the night of Midsummer was believed to be full of magic. Since the sun never went down, this was the brightest night of the year and thought to be one of the magical as well. The border between the human world and the supernatural went blurry, and nature was filled with magical creatures, sounds and wonders – and in order to seize this magic, many girls went out to pick flowers on the meadow, to hopefully dream of their future husband.
Are Midsummer flowers really magical?
Hundreds of years ago, the beliefs of creatures and magic were part of everyday life, and a way to explain unexplainable things. Today, we can turn to science to understand nature. Back then, we turned to magic and religion.
So, did it work? Hard to say – maybe it worked for some girls, if they happened to dream of the neighbor boy? But the best answer would be: try it for yourself. The tradition lives on, and there are plenty of flowers to pick during Midsummer. If not for the magic, it’s a lovely way to seize the Swedish Midnight sun.
The rules for picking Midsummer flowers
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just picking seven flowers and placing them under your pillow. To really get in touch with the magic, there are several rules to follow if you want everything to work out. One rule is to make everything backwards as much as you can. Doing things in the wrong order, backwards or upside down was believed to ”shorten the way” into the magical world – simply because it was the opposite way of the normal Christian way of living. Another rule is to not break the magic by talking – silence is key!
Try picking Midsummer flowers yourself:
- The number of flowers must be uneven: three, seven or nine flowers.
- All flowers must be different! It’s way too easy to pick seven of the same flower.
- No talking from the start all the way to the pillow. Again: silence is key.
- Preferably you must jump over a gärdesgård – an old form of fence between meadows – between every picked flower. Easy math: seven flowers = jump over seven fences between each picked flower.
- To really get in touch with magic – do everything backwards. Walk backwards, jump backwards, and walk your planned route backwards.
But hey – what don’t you do for your future love?