Sweden Celebrates Festival That Inspired Twisted Netflix Horror Movie

Sweden is about to celebrate the summer festival that inspired one of Netflix’s most twisted horror films.

We are of course talking about the Midsummer Festival, that horror 2019 Midsommar was loosely based on.

Viewers of the 2019 folk horror flick tossed and turned in their beds in fear, unable to sleep after seeing the horrors that unfolded during the film version of Sweden’s Midsummer festival.

And now, in real life, festival-goers are preparing to party ahead of the four “quarter” days that kick off this weekend.

The festival that inspired 2019 horror Midsommar is set to take place this weekend. Credit: Nordisk Film

The 2019 film – directed by Ari Aster – saw black widow Florence Pugh has been cast in the spotlight as one half of a dysfunctional couple who travel to Sweden with a group of friends to party in the middle of the summer solstice.

However, the festival quickly turns into a harrowing and barbaric scene of cult carnage that sees characters being drugged, dismembered, burned alive and sacrificed in the name of the festival.

One viewer even said some gruesome footage from the film felt like it had been ‘permanent’ [their] brain’.

Although Sweden’s Midsummer festival was portrayed as a musical lure by a sinister cult to attract unsuspecting travelers in the 2019 film, the actual event is (thankfully) far from it.

The actual festival is not at all like the one Midsommar depicts.  Credit: Nordisk Film
The actual festival is not at all like the one Midsommar depicts. Credit: Nordisk Film

So much so that people are getting ready to celebrate rather than shivering under their blankets in fear before the holidays.

This year, the day falls on Saturday June 24 and, according to Visit Sweden, a Midsummer Maypole will be decorated and danced – a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages.

He explains, “In agrarian society, the midsummer night was seen as a time of magic and mystery when plants gained healing powers and were used to predict the future.

“Young women would pick seven different kinds of flowers and put them under their pillows to dream of their future husbands. The flowers had to be picked in silence or the magic would be broken.

Part of the celebrations sees people dancing around a maypole.  Credit: Alamy
Part of the celebrations sees people dancing around a maypole. Credit: Alamy

“Regardless of gender and standards, those feeling curious and intrigued should probably try their hand at this summer solstice magic, it just might work out.”

“Walking barefoot in the dew as the summer night turned to dawn helped keep you healthy. Wearing a wreath in your hair is an ancient symbol of rebirth and fertility.

“To preserve the magic of the flowers throughout the year, bouquets were dried and sometimes placed in the Christmas bath to keep the family healthy during the long, cold winter.

“Today, Midsummer is all about celebrating that the best time of the year is ahead of us.”

Lots of dancing and music takes place at the Swedish Summer Festival.  Credit: Alamy
Lots of dancing and music takes place at the Swedish Summer Festival. Credit: Alamy

So while seeing Pugh screaming on screen might have infiltrated your nightmares and been a hard image to shake, hopefully they can now be replaced with images of dancing around a mast, eating “herring marinated, fresh potatoes and strawberries” and jubilant Swedish songs. .

Many games are also organized in the middle of the celebrations, in which “people of all ages” can participate.

Although the celebrations are “big events by nature”, Visit Sweden also notes that touring the country and celebrating the festival “with a small group of friends is also fun”.

Unless you’re Florence Pugh and co, of course.


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