swedish festival, first church of jaffrey
Photo 1: Midsummer celebrants dance around the Midsummer Pole at last year’s First Church celebration; Photo 2: Andrea Larson and Gene Faxon on fiddle and accordion; Photo 3: Revontulet, the Finnish folk dancers from Fitchburg, left to right, are Rudy and Barbara Lahti, Ed and Shirley Mattson, Clayton and Sally Tracy, Ron &andBarbara Joki, and Bill and Linda Stevenson.
The third annual Scandinavian Midsummer Celebration will be held at the First Church in Jaffrey on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
There will be traditional music and dancing around the Midsummer Pole. The event will be led by noted fiddler, soprano, and folklorist Andrea Larson, who loves the Scandinavian traditions of folklore and music. She has performed Swedish folk music and dance in theaters, museums, churches and schools in the U.S., Great Britain and Sweden. She teaches violin at her home in Wilton. First Church Minister of Music Gene Faxon will accompany her on accordion and the Rev. Robert R. Kyte will welcome the gathering.
The Finnish folk dance group Revontulet from Fitchburg, Mass., will perform inside the Meetinghouse. “Revontulet,” meaning Northern Lights, has been performing for more than 50 years, dedicated to the promotion of Finnish dance traditions. Group members wear the traditional dress seen in Finland in the 18th and 19th centuries.
First Church parishioners will raise the Midsummer Pole decorated with birch branches and wildflowers on the Common in front of the church. Cookies and lemonade will be served.
Midsummer’s Eve celebrates the summer solstice, when daylight lasts until late in the evening. In parts of Northern Europe the sun never sets this time of the year.