Celebrating midsummer in Åland

This weekend I have been celebrating midsummer in Åland, an island between Sweden and Finland in the Baltic sea.

Åland belongs to Finland but the 95 % of the people on the island speaks Swedish as their native language. Like us in Sweden they celebrate midsummer in the lightest period of the year around 21st of June.

We are celebrating midsummer on a Friday, the date varies from the 20-25st of June. Celebrating midsummer have historic roots back to the 300-century and one reason to celebrate (historic) are the summer solstice. In the beginning it was a pagan feast which later on turned to a celebration of the birth of John the Baptist.

In midsummer today people have some huge parties and stays up almost the whole night to see the sun rise about 3 in the morning. There are also some decorations of a Maypole and a lot of singing and dancing. In Åland the Maypole looks a bit different from Swedish Maypoles which have a lot more leaves and flowers on them.

celebrating midsummer
Maypole from Åland

I spent the weekend in my parents cottage on one of all islands that Åland consists of. The cottage are situated in avery calm place, close to the sea (like almost everything are in Åland).

We also made some small trips, these photos are from Bomarsund, a Russian fortress from 1832. Åland belonged to Russia since the peace in Fredrikshamn 1809. Napier (France) attacked in 1854 to beat the Russians and the fortress was blown up in the end. The Russian then committed that they would never again have any military activity or bases in Åland.

A piece of the fortress of Bomarsund
A piece of the fortress of Bomarsund
The bridge to Bomarsund
The bridge to Bomarsund

We also visited Jan Karlsgården and the castle of Kastelholm, a museum and the only castle in Åland from the 1200-century.

Finally in our last day on our trip to Åland we visited Kärringsund. Wonderful archipelago with a lot of old boat houses. My kind of place!