When I married a fellow Yale grad student whose parents came to this country from Norway, I was struck by how intensely my newly adopted culture focused on light. There was the magic of Norwegian Christmas, when it seemed that every window in Oslo shone with candles lit against the darkness. At the opposite end of the year, there was the solstice at Midsummer, which has also been an occasion for partying it up since pagan days. Summer visits to a family farm north of the Arctic Circle brought grilling, beer, and card games in the brilliant light of the midnight sun.
While Connecticut residents, being well south of the Arctic, can count on dark summer nights, you do not have to visit Scandinavia, or even claim family connections, to celebrate Midsummer. You just need to be able to appreciate that there’s something about this peak of sunlight hours that invites us all to lighten up and Let It Go. It’s a rare person who could not use the reminder.
The solstice technically falls on June 20th, but Midsummer parties typically take place from June 19th through the 25th. Locally organized festivities include the Scandinavian Club of Fairfield’s annual celebration complete with a Maypole, a Swedish tradition. This year it’s on Saturday, June 25th, at noon, at 1351 South Pine Creek Road, Fairfield, CT 06825.