As the Swedish summer draws to a close, it is high time to experience warm, clear August nights that are almost Mediterranean in character. That's when Sweden have the crayfish parties. Also popular by the name of 'kraftskiva', the Crayfish Party is a summertime eating and drinking celebration in the Nordic countries.
Crayfish have been eaten in Sweden since the 16th century. For a long while, only the aristocracy partook of these delicacies, as popular suspicion of shellfish was widespread. By the mid-19th century, people started eating crayfish as they are eaten today. And it is only in the 20th century, that crayfish became a national delicacy and people in all sectors of society began celebrating the occasion.
Closely associated with crayfish harvesting in Sweden during summer time, this party organizes traditional outdoor dining. Crayfish are to be eaten outdoors, and gaily coloured paper lanterns should be hung round the table. The most popular type of lantern shows a smiling full moon. Both the tablecloth and the colourful plates are also supposed to be of paper. Customary party accessories are comical paper hats, paper tablecloths, paper lanterns and bibs. It is culturally correct to suck the juice out of the crayfish before shelling it. Akvavit and other kinds of snacks are served, as well as beer.