Updated: Apr 18
The Midsommar Sól children's book from Pagan Kids Publishing is now available for pre-order! Order it from Kickstarter between February 15 to March 16, 2022, and receive your copy by the summer solstice!
Midsommar (in the Norse context) is a modern summer tradition in Northern European countries. It happens in the middle of summer, around June 21-24 (the summer solstice). Activities include light-hearted entertainment, from dressing up with flower crowns to dancing to catchy folk songs around a midsommarstång (a leafy maypole).
Små Grodorna (Little Frogs) is a popular Swedish folk song that encourages children to participate in a competitive dance around a leafy pole. The music replays faster on repeat until one person is left dancing. Another variation is removing the competition and having everyone fall when the musician cues the song’s end.
This song has been translated and added to this book. In it, the last person dancing gets crowned Midsummer queen or king!
Wanting to tie in elements of ancient sun-worship and traditional summer games, the Norse goddess Sol stars as the main character whose entire focus is giving everyone a well-deserved break!
It really is a feel-good story for the whole family.
As far as its history, Midsommar evolved from pre-Christian traditions. Some scholars call the celebration barbaric because of the singing, dancing and frivolity they witnessed. By 1000 AD, the Old Kingdom of Norway learned to embrace these customs by giving them a name, date and milder songs and dances.
Although the pagan festival activities don’t have a date before Norse-Christian convergence, it has left a trail of evidence of sun-worship and sun-game traditions. Sun-worship traces back to the Iron Age (58-79 BC) with carvings of sun-worship, expressing joy and thanks to the sun for its life-giving power. Read more about the history of Midsommar here.
Over two years have gone into the making of this new book! 2020 was spent drowning in research papers trying to decipher and organize timelines; in 2021, I published a research article that simplified these efforts for easy understanding; and finally 2022, my newest children's book is available in English AND German!
Why the fuss?
The Northern European Midsommar Festival is a debate among Norse pagan circles. The demographic is separated by an argument of whether it is originally pagan or Christian.
My goal with the Pagan Kids books is to take the Swedish customs I grew up with, restore them to their pre-Christian form and include a little ancient lore. This takes research, care and understanding.
The books are available on Kickstarter from February 15 to March 16, 2021, starting at $12 (CAD). Kickstarter sales are the most affordable way to get your hands on any of the Pagan Kids books, so make sure you look at all the other books available to add on.
Order from the Kickstarter page today:
Note: The Who Is That in the Sky? board book ships from a different facility based in the USA. Shipping to continents isn't as feasible as I would like. I am working on a solution, but it won't be available for a few months (at least).