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Kristi himmelsfärdsdag – Ascension day

Spring in Sweden brings a succession of holidays starting with Easter, moving on to Valborgsmässoafton, and this week’s Kristi himmelsfärdsdag, or Ascension Day which is 40 days after Easter when Jesus ascended into heaven. In Sweden it has a strong connection to nature and signals the hope of warmer weather.  Advertisements

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Valborgsmässoafton

photo by Britt-Marie Sohlström, April 30, 2011 in Böle, Jamtland, Sweden We are coming to the close of another long weekend. The last one was for Easter and this time it’s Valborgsmässoafton on April 30th. It’s a song, speech, and bonfire-filled ringing in of spring named for Saint Walburga. And it flows right into the […]

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Vår i Skåne – spring in southern Sweden

Snödroppar (snow drops), the first sign of spring. We are mid-spring in southern Sweden. I can’t speak for the folks farther north, but I assume they are 3-8 weeks behind us depending on their latitude. Spring in Skåne (SKOH-nuh), the southernmost region of Sweden, begins as early as late February when the first snow drops […]

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Glad påsk – Happy Easter

In southern Sweden Easter is a welcoming of spring whereas in northern Sweden it’s still winter. But throughout Sweden Påsk (pohsk) means even more time off than at Christmas since the Friday preceding Easter Sunday and the Monday after are both official holidays. In addition, many people only work a half day on Thursday so for […]

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Waffles + The Annunciation = Waffle Day

March 25th is Waffle Day in Sweden and it coincides with Marie bebådelsedag, or the day of The Annunciation. Why? Largely because of variations in the Swedish dialect.

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Spettkaka (spit cake)

I’m a big fan of the spectacular Swedish spettkaka. Ribbons of batter piped onto a conical form make-up the unique confection sometimes called a pyramid cake in English, probably because the literal translation of spettkaka is spit cake. That’s a bit unfortunate, but makes sense when you learn the cake is baked on a rotating […]

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Valentine’s Day (Alla Hjärtans Dag) – raspberry lingonberry smoothie

Pink, pink, pink. I have just come off of a pink high for my 5 year-old’s princess birthday party and now it’s nearly Valentine’s Day which means more pink. My mother reminded me that I wasn’t a fan of pink or hearts as a little girl but now that I have two girls of my […]

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Bringing light to the dark

Today is the winter solstice. The day of the year with the least amount of daylight hours. With an impressive north to south distance this day in Sweden means a range of no daylight in the northernmost reaches of the country to 7 hours of daylight at the southernmost point. 

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Lucia and lussekatter

Filled with candlelight, white robes, singing, and saffron buns, Lucia in Sweden has evolved into a unique tradition that is observed throughout the country on December 13th. Although it isn’t an official holiday, Lucia celebrations are prominent from schools to universities and small towns to big cities. The origins and history of Lucia are quite […]

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Pea soup Thursdays – Ärtsoppa

Pea soup on Thursday has been a tradition in Sweden since the Middle Ages. It stems from the Friday fasting historically observed by the Roman Catholic church as a reminder of Jesus’ suffering and death on Good Friday. Thursdays had a somewhat festive aura and peas were considered a luxury item. 

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