Already in the 10th century, the Vikings celebrated the lightest time of the year, which we call midsummer. Swedes celebrate midsummer on the weekend closest to Midsummer day June 24th. In Vancouver we normally have our Midsummer Festival one week earlier. For the Swede's it is very important to make the flower wreaths for the hair, and to decorate and raise the midsummer pole.
Friday at 6 pm, the volunteers meet to prepare for the midsummer weekend. We make the garlands and rings for the midsummer pole. We decorate with flower and use birch branches as the base. On Friday night we also have live music and an open bar, and the younger crowd (including the young at heart) meet and have fun.
The event opens at 10Am Saturday and ends Sunday at 4 Pm. Opening ceremonies takes place around 11 followed by the decorating and raising of the midsummer pole. There are lots activities, for both kids and adults, during the whole day. The kids can make flower wreath's, visit the troll forest, ride the Icelandic ponies, visit the Viking village, and much more.
At the heart of this event is the Festival Village Long house and performance space. One large audience tent with performers in the middle, offering audience participation dance, song and story-telling. The large stage is connected through its proximity and common cover. Here dancing groups including all Scandinavian groups will begin and end the festival. The Festival Choir will delight the audience on Sunday and on Saturday the we have performances by artists like Charlotte Diamond and Abra Cadabra.
Around the long-house the participating nations, Denmark Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, and the'Vikings' have their villages. The 'Viking' village features a large Viking-ship, authentic Viking settlements, games and crafts originating from those days. The Nordic Villages, marked with Nordic street signs (Karl-Johan, Stroget, Tivoli, Skansen, etc), features displays of national heritage, craft and food sales by companies like Ikea, Jolly Foods, etc. and many kids activities.
In the Big Nordic Hall (main building) food is served and chambering musicians are entertaining while we enjoy open faced sandwiches, meatballs and other Nordic treats.
Scandinavian Community Centre
6540 Thomas St
Ph: (604) 294‑2777