Swedes are said to go into the woods very early in the morning to hear the birds at sunrise on ascension day, but personally I’ve never seen anyone do that. But it is said to be good luck if a cuckoo is heard from the east or west. This is superstition that applies to any day and any cuckoo though. [read more]
On Sweden’s Valborg-Walpurgis Eve on April 30th Swedes are lighting bonfires to mark the end of winter and the beginning of spring. From the beginning the traditions comes from Beltane which is the Gaelic May Day festival. Historically, it was widely observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Special bonfires were kindled, and their flames, smoke and ashes were deemed to have protective powers. These traditions got adopted by the Vikings and came to Sweden, where they later was blended with the German Walpurgisnacht and made into a Christian celebration for the Saint Walpurga. Today people in Sweden gather by the light and heat of the fire to listen to choirs performing a number of traditional spring songs.”Valborgsmässoafton” as you can see is an ancient pagan custom. It was done to scare off predators before the cattle and sheep were let out to graze but also to protect people against evil spirits believed to be gathering on this very night. In German folklore Walpurgisnacht, also called Hexennacht (literally “Witches’ Night”), is believed to be the night of a witches’ meeting, so of course there was much need for these bonfires!
Spring is on its way and here in Sweden we celebrate Easter with chicken, lamb, eggs and of course “påskmust”. Påskmust is so powerful in Swedish traditions it even makes Coke sales go down. [read more]
It’s not a raging hit here in Sweden YET! But there is a Swedish version of celebrating going on.
Most Swedes still claim we’re not celebrating Halloween. But that is slowly changing, not the claims but we do celebrate it daycare centers defiantly the kids. So the generation growing up now will surly have Halloween in their hearts. [read more]
Midsummer, Summer Solstice, Litha a tradition with many names depending on culture. However in Sweden the Midsummer is such an important festivity that there have been serious discussions to make the Midsummer’s Eve into the National Day of Sweden, instead of June 6. But I think Swedes like to leave it as it is the summer fest with lots of myths and to outsiders a great deal of madness.