Do you remember the Midsommar film by Ari Aster, which aired last 2019? This folk horror film has attracted public attention because of its unusual and scary storyline.
Well, but do you know, the Midsommar festival in the film is actually inspired by festivals in the real world. The Midsommar Festival actually originates from Sweden and is always celebrated every year until today.
Quoted from the Matador Network, Midsommar or Midsummer is celebrated in the northern hemisphere every summer, to be precise at the end of June, where the sunshine duration is the longest throughout the year. In Sweden itself, Midsommar is defined as the sun that never or just barely sets on a celebration.
Just like in the movies, the Midsommar festival is celebrated in a big way, complete with flower crowns, maypole dances, fresh air, and other banquets. Due to the excitement of this festival, some people filed a petition to make Midsommar a national day which falls every 6 June.
But actually, apart from Sweden, there are also people from other countries who celebrate similar festivals. Call it Finland with its Juhannus celebration. Then in Norway, there is the Sankthansaften festival while in Denmark it is called Sankt Hans Aften.
Outside the Nordic region, other countries in Europe such as Portugal and Hungary are also celebrating. Even in Brazil and Canada, people celebrate it as Saint John’s Day. In Latvia, this memorial is called Ligo or Jani, which is the biggest celebration of the year.
The history of Midsommar
The history of Midsommar dates back to the agrarian era or the 6th century to welcome summer and encourage fertility. This festival is a public celebration in central Sweden which is held all night because the sun shines for a long time.
According to Pagan belief, miracles will come abundantly between day and night when our world and the spirit world, good and evil, are very slim.
The Midsommar celebration continues to grow every year. In the 16th century, maypole was introduced. This tall pole is decorated with leaves and flowers which are also used to decorate the house. In ancient times there was also a green man who wore a costume made of ferns from head to toe.
However, when Christianity entered Europe at the end of the Middle Ages, Pagan culture was shifted by a new culture so that Midsommar was adapted. Midsommar is no longer celebrated spiritually but only as an ordinary summer celebration.
Comparison of Midsommar in Film with Reality
Just like in the movie, during Midsommar, people danced around the maypole while singing folk songs. The difference is, the costume in the film is a traditional costume with a predominance of white. At the same time, originally, people usually dress with a flower crown on their head.
Then there’s the half-correct part of the film. Midsommar is synonymous with love and fertility. Women would usually pick flowers and put them under the pillow and eat the salty porridge so that they can meet their husbands in their dreams. This is different from the film version, which contains fantasy fiction.
And of course, Midsommar in the real world is not associated with ritual offerings or the killing of humans. It only happens in movies, seen from the real ritual.