The Midsummer Carnival of Ramsberg
The annual Midsummer Carnival takes place on Midsummer Day in Ramsberg, Västmanland province. The carnival parade goes through the center of Ramsberg and ends with festivities such as live music, dancing, eating, and lotteries.
Location: Ramsberg, Västmanland
The carnival parade marks the beginning of the Midsummer Carnival. Various decorated carriages make up the parade. The central carriage is drawn by horses, and carries a prince and a princess. They are selected by drawing lots among the children at a local preschool, and the prince and princess are each awarded a necklace for their participation. At the end of the carnival, the best carriage and costume are voted on and prizes are awarded.
The preparations for the Midsummer Carnival begin months in advance. Preparing the carriages and costumes involves connecting with family, friends, and neighbors. Permanent residents and regular summer visitors all participate in the preparations and the carnival.
The Midsummer Carnival dates back to the 1950s, when it was introduced by a teacher at the local school. Originally, the carnival was part of the traditional midsummer celebrations, with songs and dancing around the midsummer pole. Today, these practices are separate and are celebrated on different days during the midsummer weekend.
The Midsummer Carnival is an example of a masquerade tradition linked to a specific date. Many other date-specific masquerades still exist today. However, traditions have changed during the 20th and 21st centuries. In the earlier part of the 20th century, dressing up was often associated with teenagers. Today, those who take part are often younger, and many masquerade events are held at schools or preschools.