Thursday, May 1, 2014

Valborgsmässoafton and 1st of May

I love how the Swedes celebrate so many things.  I have spoken of Midsummer - here and here where we danced around a maypole (phallus symbol) and with yesterday and today.. I thought it's high time I talk a bit more about culture and tradition in Sweden.

30 April is another huge thing in Sweden.  Here we call them Valborgsmässoafton, where we gather around as a group watching a huge bonfire.  In Germany, it's called Walpurgisnact.  Bonfire burning here in Sweden was started as the burning of staked witches but today, the bonfire are lighted to celebrate the ending of Winter and the beginning of Spring.  It's a huge public event where they have different bonfires around different parts of Sweden.  We'll gather around with our loved ones just watching the bonfire.  It is usually pretty cold still and the heat from the fire is quite comforting.

Most people usually work for half the day as the next day, 1st May is a public holiday (International Workers' Day)

Having been here for the past two or three Valborgs, I am really ashamed to say I never had the physical chance of observing the tradition.  Last night I tried attending, but unfortunately as I was at a friend's place having dinner for her boo's b'day, we missed out as when we went out around 9.30pm, turned out the bonfire had ended earlier because it had started drizzling...

Anyway, happy Spring day!!