swedish traditions
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swedish traditions

Swedish Traditions and Festivities

One of the things I love most about Sweden are the magnificent festivities, traditions and special occasions. What an opportunity to share love, laughter and magnificent food – in abundance. We’d like to share some of these Swedish special events and traditions with you. Enjoy this little bit of Swedish Soul.

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Crayfish Party

August is for "Crayfish Party"

Crayfish and a Pinch of Schnapps 

In Sweden August nights are warmand the perfect time to savour one of the most celebrated sea foods, the humble crayfish. With August being the perfect crayfish month, preferably around full moon, Swedes everywhere adorn their tables with bright colourful tablecloths, candles and big bowls of steamed crayfish, bread, cheese and schnapps. With small paper hats and matching bibs, children belt out odes to the crayfish after which grown-ups throw back the schnapps and everyone enjoys a feast of crayfish. At some parties, guests even get to pick out the crayfish of their choice from a box in the corner of the room. Cheers – to all the crayfish!

Why the celebrations? Around the beginning of the 20th century crayfish were under threat of extinction in Swedish waters and so authorities restricted crayfish fishing to just a few weeks in August. With middle-class Swedes having to go without crayfish until late summer, the crayfish party was born. A celebration indeed, the return of crayfish to Swedish tables. Today the tradition lives on in grand style.

Unfortunately crayfish are out of season in Australia until 15th of November, when all Australians can enjoy catching them from our beautiful oceans. 

The Festival of Herring: simply follow your nose. 

The second half of August is also the time for the Baltic herring premier. Not quite as embraced as the crayfish party by non-Swedes, fermented and rather pungent to smell, herring is simply eaten out of the jar, often with boiled dill potatoes!

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