6 Steps to host a Scandinavian Crayfish Party

Author: Caroline Brandelius   Date Posted:2 September 2019 

There is nothing more Scandinavian than to host a crayfish party. The tradition started once in Sweden and got spread around the Nordic countries. August to September is the time of the year to eat crayfish. If you feel ready to host your own crayfish party, here are 6 steps to make it happen!


1 - Get your crayfish

Sweden have lovely native crayfish, but unfortunately not enough to feed the whole population during the season. Therefore they get imported crayfish from China or Turkey. If you’re in Australia, you can go to your nearest fish market, or duck into Ikea, they normally have some frozen ones during August and September. 

2 - Where to host it

August is end of summer in the Nordic countries, but can still be very nice and warm. Crayfish parties are set outside with a long table, in the garden underneath a gazebo or on a veranda. The ideal place in Scandinavia would be at someone’s summer place close to a lake or the Archipelago with a lot of nature in the surroundings. 


3 - Decorations

It is tradition to use colourful table cloths with crayfish prints on. And hang up colourful lanterns like the classic “man in the moon” lanterns. Try a combination of some smaller coloured glass tealight votives on the table and some hurricane lanterns if you are outdoors.

You also have to provide each guest with a silly party hat, and a bib. The bib is very important as eating the crayfish can be pretty messy. 

4 - Tools & lemon water

Don’t forget to put out small bowls of water with a slice of lemon, for people to clean their fingers in. You could also get some specific crayfish knives to use for the peeling part. If you can get your hands on those, everyone will be very pleased. 

 5 - Schnapps!

The schnapps is almost as important as the crayfish, if you ask a Swede. And while drinking you have to sing schnapps-songs. Jump on to the internet and look for Swedish schnapps songs and you will find a few. Print them and hand out small song lyrics books to your guests. It will be good fun singing a song together before drinking each schnapps.

- Plenty of Food

Crayfish parties have a reputation of ending pretty messy and people getting very drunk. It is normally the imbalance of strong schnapps and little food from the crayfish. Make sure you have lots of sides like the classic cheese pie, aioli, dill sauce, bread and a big salad. You can also give the guests a soup for starter.

Messy could be fun, but you want your guests to last all night long.


Have fun with your prep! 


Cheese pie: 




Schnapps songs 




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