Welcome back to the Astrior newsletter, the humble home of your favorite little goodies and seasonal tidbits. One of my goals for this newsletter is that it brings you a sense of connection with me, this shop, and the rest of our floral-adorned friends! While we love bringing you new collections and sweet sales, we also want to be able to celebrate and share the deeper sources of inspiration that have gone into bringing you our defiantly delicate pieces.
In keeping with that promise, we thought we’d invite you to take a deeper look with us at the season we have just entered: Summer is here. I’m so excited to be able to bask in the sunshine and twirl in some Astrior dresses. But I always find it especially grounding to gain a bit of knowledge about the rituals and lore surrounding this time of year.
And thus begins our deep dive into Midsommar, the Swedish celebration of— you guessed it, midsummer. As you may know, “Astrior” is the Scandinavian Old Norse version of my name which translates to “divine strength” and “beautiful goddess. Using this tradition as our lens, let’s explore a bit of history.
Midsommar is and was a quintessential midsummer celebration that serves as a cornerstone of culture after a long, dark Scandinavian winter. Traditionally, this was seen as a mystical time of year where large bonfires plumed against the evening sky and people believed that the veil between our world and all others was thin and permeable, allowing for a little extra magic to shine through. Midsommar traditions are also connected to lore about mystical forces and creatures who come alive at night during this time and infuse the plants and flowers with healing, clairvoyant properties. And forget plucking petals reciting that old adage, “he loves me, he loves me not”. The Midsommar tradition calls for gathering seven different flowers and placing them under your pillow while you sleep so that you dream of your true love. There’s lots of focus on love, fertility and rejoicing. As one Swedish proverb says, “Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking.” Talk about abundance!
Nowadays the festival is characterized by bright colors, grand, blossoming flower arrangements and large gatherings of people celebrating vitality and sunshine. Activities range from an afternoon prance around the midsommarstång or maypole, to an early morning naked roll through dewy grass (it’s thought to bring on good health!), and a group dance imitating frogs jumping. People eat traditional foods of pickled herring, berries-o-plenty, and meat and potatoes seasoned with fresh dill. If I went to this festival I’d wear either/My Astrior Midsommar moodboard/If I went to a Midsommar celebration I’d have a tough time deciding between:
ERNEST DRESS (left), SCARLETT DRESS (right), BIRDIE DRESS (center)
We would do well to take a note from cultures that embed themselves into the present season, whatever the weather. As it gets warmer here in Los Angeles, I find myself attending yoga classes in the park or taking my little Cherub on long walks as the sun sets slowly over the San Gabriel Mountains. In my city, you can find friends enjoying wine and snacks at Silver Lake or Echo Park, throwing pride parties down Hollywood Blvd, picnicking at the Hollywood bowl or stretching out over the sandy beaches of Santa Monica. Every place has its own traditions for the season, some new, some ancient. As people, we are connected to the earth and its bursts of natural goodness.
Thanks for coming with us on this journey to learn more about how Swedish culture practices reverence for summertime. Do you have your own summer traditions that help you connect with the season? Does wearing one of our floral pieces remind you of bright days spent in the sunshine? Happy summer and be well Astrior friends!