Friday, 27 December 2013

FMTSO: Holiday Traditions

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One of the holiday traditions in Sweden is to put up extra lights in almost every window. Electric candlesticks in a variety of sizes and shapes, and/or stars. It’s also common to put a wreath or other decoration on your front door:

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I took these photos today on my walk to/from the supermarket. The stone building is an old factory; the yellow wooden house was once upon a time the residence of the managing director. Nowadays both buildings have been converted into offices.

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Snow for Christmas is something we can’t make a tradition of in this part of Sweden, even if it does belong in our mind’s image of how it “should” be. This year we had a mild, stormy and rainy Christmas; with the water level in the river rising very high.

Friday My Town Shoot Out – Holiday Traditions

Thursday, 12 December 2013

FMTSO: What Lights Up My Town in December

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The Christmas Tree and Market in the Square.

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Light decorations replacing the water in the fountain.

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Inside this tent (or goahti) there’s a temporary café serving hot drinks (coffee, tea or ‘glögg’) and perhaps a ginger biscuit or Lucia bun. Inside they have a live fire burning. There are fires outside in the square too, where you can warm your hands for a while:

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In the wooden market stalls they sell mostly food stuff or handicraft objects, or lottery tickets.

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Roasted almonds here!

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On some days there are extra tents put up at the market.

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In the streets there are “curtains” of lights hanging between the buildings:

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Lucia, or St Lucy’s Day, is celebrated on 13th December. In Sweden, it’s customary for each town to elect a Lucia with a number of maids who spend December going round to various public places, singing traditional Lucia and Christmas songs, and collecting money for  charity. They also visit hospitals and nursing homes etc to bring joy to people who can’t get around much themselves.

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My town’s official Lucia crowning ceremony took place on 7th December this year. (By then Lucia and her maids had already been “at work” for a week or two, though.) That ceremony takes place on the terrace on top of the stairs of the town hall/courthouse, at 4 pm when it’s getting dark.

This is the best shot I was able to get with my little camera from below in the crowd:

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We also have a more recent tradition of an ice sculpture or sculptures also being hewn on the spot by an ice sculptor that weekend. I was not there to watch it being made this year and I’m not actually sure what it’s supposed to represent. (Since Saturday it’s first been snowing a lot and then thawing a lot, and I’ve not been back to the square this week, so not sure what’s left of the sculptures now!)

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Anyway there were also fireworks to celebrate:

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While waiting for the bus back home, I looked up into a perfectly clear, deep blue sky with a crescent moon, doing its best to compete with all the man-made lights:

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Wishing you all a Happy St. Lucy’s Day on 13th December!
~ Monica ~

 

Friday, 6 December 2013

FMTSO: Rush Hour Traffic

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Usually, the rush hours in town is something I try to avoid!

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The busses are usually very full that time of day too.

If I walk, I try to choose the side-streets if I can.

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When walking home from town, there are only a few places where I have to cross more heavily trafficated* streets.

* Ooops - I'm guilty of "Swenglish" here, it seems :) ... We have the word "trafikera" in Swedish...

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,~,~,~,~,

In the summer there is sometimes a more fun kind of rush hour traffic, as on certain occasions special vehicles gather in the town square (which is usually forbidden area for traffic).

… Like mini cars …

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… or motorcycles …

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Friday My Town Shoot Out – Rush Hour

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