SWEDISH CRAYFISH PARTY
Kräftskiva, or Swedish Crayfish Party (also
Swedish Crawfish Party,
on what area you live in), is a Swedish tradition that takes place throughout
the month of August every year. Crayfish have been a delicacy in
Sweden since the 16th century. In the early 20th century, restrictions
were introduced to crawfishing in Sweden, and the official season was
not opened until August 7th of each year. Therefore, August became
a month of crayfish feasts, where millions of Swedes partake in mass quantities
of crawfish as a celebration of the opening of the season.
Today, crayfish are available year-round, but the tradition
continues. At a typical Kräftskiva, many Swedes will gather
mass quantities of crayfish, marinated in dill, and take snaps
(shots) while singing drinking songs until the wee hours of the morning.
Swedes will often attend many a Kräftskiva during the month of
August. The parties always take place outdoors, and are accompanied
by all types of festive crayfish decorations, man-in-the-moon decorative
lanterns, crawfish hats and bibs.
The typical crawfish party lasts many hours, from mid-day
often until dawn the next morning. In the early afternoon, people
games such as Boule (similar to Bocce). Then the crawfish
are served! The host will usually lead the guest in a rousing rendition
of Helan Går, (a drinking song that loosely translated means "here
comes the first one"), followed by everyone sucking the dill out of the
body of their crawfish, and taking a snaps of Aqvavit. This
continues for hours, though the songs will usually change. After
everyone has had their fill of snaps and crayfish, dessert is served
- usually a fruit like strawberries and cream, or maybe a slice of cake.
Afterward, everyone drinks some more, and usually ends up skinny dipping
in a nearby lake.
We've celebrated many a Kräftskiva now, but only this
year did we host our first one! You can visit it with us at the