How To CelebrateThe Longest Day Of The Year

The summer solstice (June 21) — a.k.a. the longest day of the year — falls on a Wednesday this year. But that shouldn't stop you from celebrating the official first day of summer with chilled rosé, outdoor gatherings, and backyard barbecues. While we'd like to think our entertaining game is pretty strong, no one rings in the warmer season quite like the Swedes.
You'll know what we're talking about if you've come across photos of Swedish midsummer parties, where prolonged daylight is celebrated with pretty flower crowns, colorful decor, and delicious cakes. This tradition — which typically takes place on the weekend between June 20 and 26 — has a fanciful look that's made for Instagram. There are plenty of styling cues and party-planning ideas to take from the festive occasion, so we rounded up seven of the most adaptable tips to inspire own get-together. Just remember to wear your best summer whites.
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Load On The Florals
A midsummer party feels incomplete without any flowers. In Swedish folklore, unmarried women were encouraged to collect seven types of flowers and put them under their pillows, so their future husband would manifest in their dreams. But these days, the pretty blooms are purely aesthetic. The pictured bouquet features clematis, peonies, hydrangea, cow parsley, and gillyflowers — all blossoms befitting for the occasion.
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Flower Crowns Are Essential
You may see flower crowns everywhere at music festivals, but they actually showed up in midsummer parties first. We've got a easy tutorial on how to whip up your own, but if you don't feel like donning a full-on bouquet in your hair, these DIY headpieces made with string and greenery are simple and equally chic.
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Serve Summery Refreshers
Schnapps and light beer are the beverages of choice at midsummer parties, but if you're looking for a twist, Honestly Yum has created a refreshing cocktail recipe featuring sherry, elderflower liqueur, and aquavit.
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Curate A Smörgåsbord
The Swedes live for smoked fish, so it only makes sense to feature it on a midsummer party menu. Your smörgåsbord should include boiled shrimp, pickled herring, and roe. Another major staple for the festival is potato salad with dill.
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Bake A Strawberry Cake
Strawberry cake is a classic dessert for midsummer celebrations. Gorgeous to look at, the cake is surprisingly simple: layer a sponge cake with whipped cream and top with fresh strawberries.
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Don't Forget The Maypole
A towering May pole is the focal point of a typical midsummer celebration. The process of decorating and raising the May pole is a meaningful ritual welcoming the harvest. The Swedish pole is typically decorated with foliage; an alternative version with woven ribbons is also popular. Martha Stewart Living has a how-to on fashioning your own ribbon-style May pole.
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Bring On The Lights
Fairy lights add a warm and ethereal ambience to any outdoor space. If there's a tree in your backyard, dress it up with twinkle lights, scraps of ribbons, and flowers to set a magical scene.
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