|The entrance to Gültzauudden.|
This year, we decided to be all traditional on Midsummer Eve, and go to Gültzauudden (= the Gültzau promontory, or spit) and celebrate properly. We don´t do it every year, I have to say, and much of it is about me being in bed until three or four in the afternoon most days. But now I´m on vacation (hurrah!) and as I need to readjust to dayliving, it seemed like a good idea to go. Mum-in-law is in a good shape and joined us.
The wooded promontory has been a place for hanging out and having a good time since Luleå was established in this location in the 17th century. You can see ruins of a burned down dance palace, and there used to be a skijumping stadium here a hundred years ago. Now there is a beach, and a café situated in a building that is a copy of the old town hall, which stood not far from here. Between 1693 and 1861 a house just like this one was the seat of the mayor, the court, over-night accomodation for the county governor, the fire brigade, the jail, tax storage (some taxes were delivered in kind), and a tavern. It would barely house one family these days, we are so spoilt for space. Of course, in those days they didn´t have plumbing, no bathrooms or toilets, barebone-kitchens, and so on. What they did have was firewood storage, and I bet it cost a pretty penny to heat the place.
There were lots of people, in spite of the weather. A cold wind was coming in from the north, bone-chilling, but no rain. This did not seem to put a damper on anyone´s mood, everyone was incredibly jolly, actually. The local folklore society ran the show, and had already done a version of it earlier that day at the folklore museum Hägnan, in Gammelstad. They were amazing, I thought. They must really enjoy what they do.
We have been a few times before (more than ten years ago) and I can not remember it being so well organized , or so well-attended. I think perhaps our immigrants have something to do with that, they have re-vitalized the interest in folklore, which have been waning since the 70´s, when everyone was into sewing their own folk costume and polka dancing. Even I, as a ten-year-old, went to a schottische course.
There was a fishpond/grab bag stand for the kids, music from the stage, a speech by the Council president, the children were "maying" the pole, which was then paraded and erected. The folklore specialists led the dance from a small circle around the pole, and so many joined in. After that, there was a dance show, and again, the audience was invited to join in, which they did, enthusiastically.
We then took a short walk to the car and went home to enjoy our dinner of pickled herring. I lost control of my snapping finger and took 392 photos! Too much, really, but it was such fun.
|During the Council President´s speech.|
|The Little Frog Dance|
|So many little girls were dressed as princesses. Don´t remember that from when I was a kid.|
|Doesn´t it look like he is jiujitsuing her? I love his style, he looks like Santa´s overseer.|
|Some really lovely wooded promenades.|