Valborgsmässoafton is a day celebrated each year in Sweden on the 30th of april. The tradition comes from the saint Valborg (or Walpurgis) who died 779 ad. and was proclaimed a saint by the church in 893. To preserve her memory a cult with a strong belief in the protection against witches and evil forces started lighting bonfires in Saint Walpurgis name.
But in modern times the day has overgone to become a day to welcome spring and summer with traditional singing and fireworks except the bonfire. (And to be honest I thought this was why we celebrated the day, I looked the stuff about Walpurgis up = )
The tradition is strong in Sweden and is (according to my sources on the web) also celebrated in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Czech republic, Latvia and Germany of course. But I don´t know how much the day is celebrated in those countries.
Since the first of may is also a red day in Sweden a lot of people take the opportunity to party. It is also the day of our Kings birthday and hence, a public flagday.
The bonfire you see above is taken from three different angles in a half hour interval in Solna, just outside Stockholms innercity limit (15 minutes away from the city centre). But similar fires are lit at thousands of places around Sweden.
The fire I was at was lit at half past eight when it started to get dark, and that is why you´ll see different types of darkness.
I´ve got a feeling I´ll have to edit some words here later on, a bottle of Cato Negro in good friends company have a deep effect on my keyboardtechnique =)
See you tomorrow!
Here they come to save the day!!!
I was a bit lucky with todays picture. Vaguely having decided on what I would take for the day I saw a mounted police ride down the street, stopping cartraffic in different directions. I knew that would mean that the royal guards would come riding!
"klippeti-kloppeti-klappeti" from the horses hoofs hitting the asphalt road.
The royal guard is, of course, confined to guard the royal family. But just like the royal guards in Britain and other countries it´s purpose today is merely a symbolic one and mainly for tourists.
They consist of young men from the armyservice together with veterans.
I have seen them quite often riding the streets lately and I realized that it of course has to do with our kings sixty year old birthday celebration that is tomorrow sunday. And since this years group are pretty young they have probably been out practicing a lot.
Ah well. I don´t really care about or monarchy, but it is quite a change in the stressful tempo of the business area streets to see this.
It was a bit rainy and my camera, a canon powershot A95, is´nt the best. But they are alright I hope! See you tomorrow!
The forgotten monument
Now what´s this you may ask. Is it the remains of some old medival building in the middle of Stockholm? Is it old? It sure looks old. What is it?
Those questions thousands of tourists ask themselves each year.
These twelve stonefigures may look pretty obscure but they were very controversial when they first appeared a few years ago. This is Swedens monument to the greatest hero that we´ve ever had. Raoul Wallenberg. The man who saved tens of thousands of jews in Hungary during world war II.
The man who has had several statues and monuments raised around the world got rewarded with this in Sweden. Kirsten Ortweds, who is the artist behind this heap of rubble, point was that the twelve differently formed pieces would form the tens of thousands of people struggle for hope and freedom through Wallenberg.
Can you see it? We can´t. The monument, is like the memory of Wallenberg here in Sweden, neglected. When it snows during the winter you can´t even see it.
And on a dim day like this people just pass it by.
Many thanks for the friendly welcoming comments! See you tomorrow =)
The big derby
Some might find it a bit boring that I kickstarted the Stockholmblog with some pictures from a sporting event. But few things in the capital of Sweden are more exciting in swedish football when the two twinclubs meet. AIK and Djurgårdens IF. They are called the twinclubs because they where both founded in 1891. AIK, being the team that I support, have supporters from different classes in society whilst Djurgårdens IF is regarded as a upper class team.
Therefore, with history in account, the derbygame of Stockholm is a highly regarded one and with loads of passion.
34 000 spectators where at Swedens national stadium, Råsunda stadion, and the majority of the fans where quite happy as AIK won 3-1. Their first win in a derby for four years.
The pictures you see is a phenomenon that has appeared the last seven or eight years in Sweden. Tifo-arrangement. At the first pictures 8000 fans have made the foundationyear 1891. On a given signal they turn the papers they are holding and spell AIK.
On the upper tier it stands in swedish: "115 years of love and passion. Our belief will never die".
Ranked as one of the top ten derby games in Europe in football I thought this was a good way in starting the blog! See you tomorrow =)
Inspired by several other photoblogs out there, especially http://parisdailyphoto.blogspot.com
means that I now also will start a photoblog from Swedens capital Stockholm. Loads of picture, starting with one tonight, will be published.