Sweden’s National Day and Midsummer celebrated jointly in HK

The Swedes in Hong Kong this year decided to combine the celebration of two of the most important public holidays.

On Friday 8 June a combined Swedish Midsummer and National Day Celebration took place at PMQ in Hong Kong. It delivered a “real Swedish midsummer experience with unpredictable weather!” according to the organiser.

Midsummer is a celebration to the longest day of the year in Sweden. The event gave everyone in Hong Kong, especially families with children, an opportunity to experience a traditional Swedish midsummer celebration.

Programme highlights: A 3.5-meter tall maypole, folk music live performance, an Absolut Sustainable bar and activities for adults and children to participate, for example, traditional midsummer dance, “Kubb” (Sweden’s favourite lawn game), flower crown making workshop, photo wall as well as different fun stations with activities such as “fish pond”, junior traffic city and so on.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam graced the celebrations with her presence and held an inspiring speech as well.

“What a pleasure to be here today in celebration of Sweden’s national day and its midsummer festival, the country’s most traditional of holidays. First of all, my gratitude to the Consul General and your team for opening this fantastic celebration to the people of Hong Kong. It provides an excellent opportunity for our people to appreciate the rich culture of Sweden through the music, dance, food and many other things on offer this afternoon,” Carrie Lam opened her speech.

“I am also delighted that the celebration is taking place in the courtyard at PMQ. The Former Police Married Quarters, PMQ is one of eight Conserving Central projects, half of which are now up and running. Just two weeks ago, I took part in the opening of the nearby Central Police Station Compound – now called Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts. I must say I am thrilled to see Hong Kong’s past rise again – revitalised and, as this good afternoon attests to, radiating life, purpose and good will.”

The Chief Executive continue to say that she also felt very much the same about Hong Kong and Sweden, pointing to the good reasons to come together. The Karolinska Institutet’s Ming Wai Lau Centre for Reparative Medicine opened in Hong Kong recently she said she is confident will be a long and mutually rewarding collaboration between Hong Kong and Sweden in science and technology.

And the same goes for the creative industries: “Indeed, Prince Carl Philip visited Hong Kong just six months ago, here to inaugurate the Swedish Pavilion at Business of Design Week, as well as to launch the first edition of SwedenTalks HK, a creative exchange that we very much look forward to building on.”

Carrie Lam also highlighted the benefits of their mutual visa-free arrangement and direct flight connection. “Arrivals from Sweden to Hong Kong grew by about 25 per cent cumulatively in the past three years. And I am sure our people-to-people bond will continue to grow, especially amongst young people, with our bilateral Working Holiday Scheme commencing operation in January this year.”

Source: Consulate General of Sweden in Hong Kong and Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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