For many people in Sweden the summer just would not be the same without kräftskiva. These outdoor parties are traditionally held in August and September. They also exist in Finland due to local Swedish population. The main delicacy served at the kräftskiva party is the crayfish. That is why the party is also known as the crayfish party.

Crayfish served at the kräftskiva party
Crayfish served at the kräftskiva party

Crayfish (in Swedish kräftor) is usually cooked in a brine. Lot of crown dill is added. Fresh water crayfish is prepared at most parties, but in the west of Sweden people also use the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus). The crayfish is eaten cold by sucking out the juicy content. There is lot of other food like for example pies, hard Västerbotten cheese and salad.

As the party is held outdoors all participants use some substance that will protect them from mosquito bites. People wear paper hats. There are also lovely paper lanterns often with Man in the Moon depicted on them.

Lot of alcohol is drank. One of drinks traditionally consumed at such parties is akvavit. This Scandinavian beverage is made from different spices and herbs. The main ingredient is caraway or dill. There is also a tradition of performing the snapsvisa or drinking songs. These short songs are easy to remember. They glorify the drink or the drinking habit of the performer. They exist all over Scandinavia.