Thursday, May 01, 2008

Valborg in Stockholm, Sweden

It was Valborg yesterday. Basically a Swedish celebration welcoming spring that is very much student oriented in places like Uppsala. In Stockholm it seems to give a chance for teenagers to get drunk. Actually that seems to be the case throughout Sweden. And there are big bonfires also. A glorious time really.

Since there was no work today (remember it’s a red day), and most people only worked a half day yesterday, I partook in the festivities. Kind of. On a sidenote, the half day off thing was news to me. I found out Tuesday evening around 5:30 when I was leaving work. Not being versed in the way of the Swedish workplace and off days could really result in a lot of labor abuse. Seems like it would be pretty easy to take advantage of the foreigners who don't realize they have a day off. Luckily, I'm just so on top of things, or at least know enough Swedes that can set me straight.

Anyway, DCP and I hung out with the cousin and watched a large bonfire. Which was pretty impressive. And hot. Very very hot. I have a new respect for fire fighters. Then we went and had some homemade Tex-Mex food and booze. All in all, pretty entertaining.

Granted we didn’t go all out like the teenagers. Apparently Valborg is also synonymous with teenage alcohol poisoning. Which there was plenty of also according to most of the news reports I’ve seen and read. So to celebrate the spring you drink and burn shit.

What I thought was so interesting was the paganistic feel to it all. Here were a bunch of Swedes standing around a huge bonfire in order to celebrate the spring. It was incredible. And this happens throughout Sweden. Bonfires everywhere.

The country managed not to go up in flames. Probably in part because of the rain. Which, according to most Swedes, is also a tradition of Valborg. So you’re celebrating the spring in the cold driving rain while drinking and lighting bonfires. This is an amazing country.

Welcome to Sweden.


  1. Its a shame you didnt come to Göteborg to see the "Kortegen" it is so much fun!

  2. another vote for Göteborg. I'm impressed with the show of support on this blog for Göteborg.

  3. haha. Yea. Hope you don't get too high expectations now. But it is great, i can ensure you!

  4. Valborg is actually a paganistic holiday, it dates back the 6th century or soemthing like that. To this date, Valborg is still THE drinking day of the year... Shame about the weather, though. Here it's been really nice weather, though. It's actually been 21 degrees and sunny! Not on Valborg, though. Sometimes I can't help liking the global warming...

  5. I might just have to stop off in Göteborg next time I drive down to Skåne...

    yeah the weather was pretty lousy on valborg. but today was glorious. so Ill take it.

  6. Hehe, yeah. You won't regret it. "Götet" is glorious in the summer.

  7. hell if this weather keeps up Stockholm will also be glorious.

  8. If this great weather keeps up the north pole will be glorious this summer...