Kräftskiva – Swedish Crayfish Party

One of the things I actually didn’t do so much when I was living in Sweden, was attending crayfish parties. I did it a few times with family but apart from not that, not that much. Now when I live abroad I do it every year, at least twice. We enjoyed it during our annual summer vacation in Sweden – and now in Amsterdam, yesterday.

Crayfish parties aren’t an ancient tradition such as Midsommar. Crayfish parties are held in august. It’s said that crayfish got more popular when less and less people were involved with farming, august being the most intense month working wise with the harvest being collected in northern Europe. Now people had more leisure time on their hands. And the Kräftskiva was born.

With a quick look, the crayfish party isn’t that much different from any other Swedish party: there’s always food, there’s always drinking involved, and, of course, singing drinking songs. Especially about herb infused vodka. The major difference is that the food is just of one kind, crayfish. No smorgasbord here.

What is all about!

This time we went to the annual crayfish party of the Swedish organisations in the Netherlands. It was our first time. The party was held at a venue with this view (Roei- en Zeilvereniging “De Amstel”) in Amsterdam.

View from the venue

I’m not the most active member of the Swedish expat society (except then maybe online 🙂 — most of the activities are in Amsterdam) but I do enjoy going to after work events or parties. Speaking Swedish is my main objective, however, any good conversation in any language will brighten up my evening!

This event was sponsered by IKEA. All the traditional decorations were in place, we even wore the traditional hats!

Traditional decoration

The starter was a vegetable pie and some salad. There were knäckebröd on the table with cheese and butter. Then the main, came in: unlimited crayfish. And then we ate and talked for the next 2 hours. We sang songs and had schnaps. The crayfish never stopped coming. Eventually people stopped eating it and coffee and cake (dajm cake) was served. The party continued with music, talking and drinking. Such a nice night!

If you ever get invited to a Swedish crayfish party, go for it!

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