Showing posts from November, 2012

Swedish Ways: Gustav Adolf's Day

Back in the 1600s, Sweden was a much bigger country than it is now, and we were at war a lot. We even went all the way down Germany and besieged places like Koblenz (colour me surprised!). As school children, we learn of all this, and we can't not remember the story of how King Gustav II Adolf (wider known in English as Gustavus Adolphus Magnus , apparently) met his maker. It goes something like this (bearing in mind it was 20 years ago now):

Swedish Ways: Alla helgons dag

All Hallows Eve, All Saint's Day, or as we call it in Sweden: Alla helgons dag or Allhelgonadagen falls this weekend. Technically, I think it's All Saint's Eve followed by All Saint's Day, but the Saturday is a red letter day in the calendar. The object is to pay hommage to the dead. [ Source ] It's not the excitement of the Mexican Festival of the Dead, nor does it really have anything to do with actual saints - Sweden's a Lutheran Protestant country, so we traditionally don't really "do" saints. No, instead, it's the time of year when people visit the graves of their loved ones, light a candle and perhaps lay a fresh wreath by the tombstone. It sure lights up the graveyards at night!