Valborgsmässoafton

Today is the last day of April and in the UK it doesn’t mean much, perhaps we hope that it’s the end of April showers and we also know that the May bank holiday is around the corner. In Sweden however, the last day of April is Valborgsmässoafton, traditionally an old pagan holiday,  in more modern times the meaning of the holiday has changed and is celebrated as a way of welcoming spring and the light back into our lives. This is done my lighting big bonfires. So if you go to Sweden in April and look around the country side you will often see big piles of branches, leaves, old unwanted wooden furniture and other burnable items, Mat was a witness to these when we went home 2 weeks ago and he was curious as to why so many people had massive piles of rubbish everywhere. So I told him of our Valborg celebration, or just Sista April as we say where I’m from. There is usually one big bonfire for each village and it’s usually lit around 9pm, then everyone gather near the bonfire and sing the Swedish classic Längtan till landet, or more commonly known as ‘Vintern rasat’ to welcome spring in and then it’s all finished off with a fire work display and maybe a tipple or two to keep you warm in the cold, crisp spring evening.

So I’ll leave you with this. (I’m sure Mick will like it, seeing as he likes choirs)

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