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Midsummer in Mora (Dalarna)

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Midzomer in Mora

Sometimes they say that Dalarna is the real Sweden. So there’s no better place than Mora in Dalarna to celebrate midsummer. I went to Mora in 2017 to enjoy a typical midsummer eve with the locals. Because I didn’t know then how to make a flower crown yourself, I bought a diadem with flowers.

I had no idea beforehand where I could celebrate midsummer in Mora. The websites (not even this one in Swedish) didn’t give much info. I read that somewhere in Mora there was a campsite where they put the maypole every year on midsummer and had a nice midsummer party. I put the address of the campsite in Google Maps and started walking.

Midsummer among the locals

After a while I heard a fanfare. According to Google Maps I was still a bit away from the campsite. My curiosity steered me in the direction of the music. I came to a small hamlet in Mora where the locals celebrated midsummer together.

Fika midzomer Mora

There were stands where you could enjoy fika, including sju sorters kakor (the tradition wants you to serve seven different types of cookies). There was a brass band, there were singing choirs and there was even a little train that drove the children around the village.

The maypole

meipaal midzomer in mora

The maypole was already decorated and ready to be pushed upright by the local strong men and women. And this under loud encouragement. There were a lot of Swedes in traditional costume. A unique experience!

Recht zetten meiboom
Meiboom midzomer in Mora

There is a small competition – the honor of the village is at stake – in the region for who has the biggest. Here they are at the top, which naturally increased the competitive spirit even more 🙂

Midzomerfeest in Mora, de meipaal

Små grodorna

When the maypole was finally up, young and old gathered to sing midsummer songs. I only knew Små grodorna but happily joined in. Very happy that I could experience this beautiful party with and between the Swedes. Can’t wait to do it again!

Midzomer in Mora

Video: Midsummer in Mora

Have you ever attended a traditional midsummer party? Where should I definitely go next time?

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Midsummer in Mora
22 June 2021
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Vasaloppet, a popular cross-country race

Vasaloppet Mora

Vasaloppet is a popular cross-country ski race that is organised in Dalarna (Central Sweden). The event takes place on the first Sunday of March.

Cross-country skiing is a combination of ice skating and skiing. You have long, narrow skis at your feet, you slide your feet forward and make a specific cross-country movement. You can also use sticks to speed up movement by pushing your body forward on arm strength.

From Sälen to Mora

The cross-country skiers of Vasaloppet cover a ninety kilometer route. With a start in Sälen and a finish in Mora, it was the longest of its kind for a long time. It is also the oldest cross-country skiing race (since 1922) and the one with the most participants. It is a gigantic event and everyone can participate. Both top athletes and ordinary citizens can register. Every year there are also famous Swedes who participate, often for a good cause.

Thousands of people participate in the Vasaloppet or come to support the participants. Due to great success, the organizers created different variants. Nowadays you can also run and cycle the distance in a competition at the end of August. In Mora you can also visit the museum about the Vasalopp.

Vasaloppet Mora

About kranskulla and blåbärsoppa

The lady and gentleman who may hand over the crown of victory to the winner are called kranskulla and kransmas. They are real ambassadors for the event.

No less than 50,000 liters of blåbärsoppa (blue currant juice) are served during the Vasaloppet week. The participants get this at the supply stations.

Gustav Vasa

With the Vasaloppet contest they commemorate the flee of the later Swedish king, Gustav Vasa, by the Danish king Christian II and his troops. In the winter of 1520-1521, Gustav Vasa made this same trip on skis, but in the opposite direction.

Stockholm bloodbath

Source Wikipedia

In 1520, the young nobleman Gustav Ericsson Vasa was fleeing from the troops of the Danish king Christian II. Much of the Swedish nobility was in opposition to the king, and had nicknamed him Christian the Tyrant. In a move to silence the opposition, Christian invited the Swedish aristocracy to a reconciliation party in Stockholm, only to have them, including Gustav’s parents, massacred in what came to be known as the Stockholm Bloodbath.

Gustav fled through Dalarna, fearing for his life if he were discovered by the king’s troops. He spoke to the men of Mora at a gathering and tried to convince them to raise a levy and start a rebellion against King Christian. The men refused to join the rebellion, and Gustav started out west, toward Norway to seek refuge.

Lars & Engelbrekt

However, the men in Mora changed their minds after hearing that the Danish rulers had decided to raise taxes, and now they wanted to join the rebellion with Gustav as their leader. They sent out the two best skiers in the county, two brothers from Mora, Lars and Engelbrekt, to search for him and they caught up with him at Sälen.

On June 6, 1523, Gustav Vasa was crowned King of Sweden, after defeating the Danish King Christian and dissolving the Kalmar Union. Since that day, Sweden has been an independent nation.

Although Gustav traveled from Mora to Sälen, the modern race is run in the opposite direction arriving in Mora. Vasaloppet is part of “En Svensk Klassiker”, about which more here.

Are you up for the challenge? You can register via this link.

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Vasaloppet
18 January 2021
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