Welcome the spring in Sweden – wherever you are.

Tomorrow, 30 April, is Walpurgis Eve, called Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish. The name Walpurgis is taken from the eighth-century Saint Walburga, and in Sweden this day marks the arrival of spring.

On this evening, Swedes normally gather to celebrate together. The forms of celebration vary in different parts of the country and between different cities. Essential celebrations include lighting a large bonfire, listing to choirs singing traditional spring songs and a speech to honour the arrival of the spring season.

Walpurgis bonfires are an impressive thing to see and are part of a Swedish tradition dating back to the early 18th century. At Walpurgis, cattle was put out to graze and bonfires lit to scare away predators.

This year however is very different from normal, thanks to Covid-19. Official celebrations have been cancelled and informal gatherings have been banned. Some of the official celebrations are being still carried out, without large groups of revellers, and are being broadcast via social media. This is a great opportunity for anyone to participate in a bit of classic Swedish culture and tradition.

If you are interested in witnessing this, go to http://www.confidencen.se/kalendarium

This is the site for events at Ulriksdal’s Palace. They will live stream their Walpurgis event tomorrow at 7pm. (Valborgsmässokonsert). The youtube link will be put up on this site just before 7.

I fully intend to watch it. Hope to see you there!

2 thoughts on “Welcome the spring in Sweden – wherever you are.

  1. “It`s different thanks to Covide”???? Do you mean that this happening is good?. In the swedish language we say “tack vare” when something affected improve as good, and the opposit “på grund av”, when something bad affected. I´ve been wondering why the english language seems to not having any differrencies between good affections and bad affections (like that everything is a chans for everything, but the swedish language have a “chans” for something good happening and “a risk” for something bad (which might happen). How can this differencies become custom and been implemented in the english language as an okay way to express the very different situations ? thankful for an explanation / Jim R

    1. Hi Jim, Thanks for your comment and for reading my blog. The expressions ‘thanks to’ and ‘because of’ are interchangeable in English. They both are used to mean that a particular person or thing is responsible for something happening, or they caused it to happen. Other synonyms are ‘due to’ and ‘as a result of’. In grammatically correct English, one would use ‘thanks to’ to give a more positive or sarcastic connotation. The other synonyms are more neutral. However, ‘thanks to’ has also become more neutral in its practical usage, which is why I used it – not because I think covid is positive! Hope this cleared it up for you!

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