National Geographic : 1963 Apr
Dancers Pay Tribute to Summer's Longest Day Summer breathes magic for the Swedes. "When the woods and fields are green and flowers are in bloom," wrote Olaus Magnus in 1555, "the peo ple assemble... to dance." And so they do today. Here, in folk costume, youths and maids of Da larna cavort around the Maypole in the festival of Midsummer Eve in June. Fiddlers saw out old-time melodies. Wreaths on the pole symbolize prosperity and fruitfulness. Similar folk dances have taken place for generations in Stockholm's famous Skansen park (below). Memory of summers past haunts a matron. She watches Midsummer Eve dancers rejoicing in the sun. Flouncing her apron and beaming a smile, a dancer faces her partner at Midsummer festivities in Skansen, Stockholm's folk park. He wears chamois breeches. 470 KODACHROME(ABOVE) BYTOREJOHNSON, TIO, AND HS EKTACHROMESBY W. D. VAUGHN © N.G.S.