A Swedish Midsommar in Hollywood, CA!
Swedish Midsommar fell on June 21st this year and we decided to join the festivities organized by the Swedish Church and SWEA (Swedish Women’s Educational Association). It was held at the Gilmore Adobe, at the Grove and Farmer’s Market in Hollywood. I have been to many Midsommar events through the years here in Southern California but have found that many have very little traditional foods and some even have more European mixed traditions instead of just Swedish. However, this year’s Midsommar celebration was way above my expectations.
The Gilmore Adobe House is in a large, very lush garden in the back of Farmers Market and next to the Grove. It is the oldest house in Hollywood, built in 1852. When you walk in through the gates the yard opens up to a beautiful garden with high hedges and lots of trees. You leave the big city noises behind, feeling like you just walked into the garden of your uncle’s summerhouse in Sweden. It was the perfect place to celebrate Midsommar and I think a lot of us felt like we were actually back home, if just for a moment before we had to leave and go home on the LA freeways! But until then, we enjoyed observing the little girls, and some big ones too, making crowns for their hair out of flowers; then they all helped decorate the maypole with greens and flowers. They raised it and placed it in the ground, and the fun began!!
Yes, the first song around the maypole was of course “små grodorna” where anyone who has never attended any Swedish holiday of any kind (yes, we sing the frog song at ALL holidays) just stared in disbelief as the Swedes, young and old, hopped around the maypole pretending to be frogs, followed by many other equally entertaining and funny looking dances and songs. I was very grateful that my American friend didn’t understand the actual words we were singing……
After all the frog jumping, “fox walking across the ice” songs, and of course the finale to all dancing around maypoles or Christmas trees, the Rocket, it was time to sit down for dinner! Nicely decorated tables and lit up trees made for a very nice atmosphere. We were served a very traditional herring plate, crispbread, meatballs, potatoes and deviled egg with roe and a delicious strawberry cake for dessert.
This was by far the best Midsommar celebration I have a experienced in LA, wonderful venue, delicious food and fun entertainment. Hope to see Gilmore Adobe be the place for many Midsommar celebrations to come.