Hurrah for Swedish holidays!
Swedes are pretty relaxed people. They work hard, but are experts on, for example, dividing the day up with ‘Fika’ breaks – coffee breaks. In the same way that they are experts in throwing a party and celebrate – year round, and for all sorts of reasons! Food is at the centre of many of their traditional celebrations. While other countries have religious holidays, Sweden has its own, sweet days for cinnamon buns, waffles and semlor (cream buns). They celebrate crayfish and lobster and even have a special day for herring – Sillens Dag – the fish that was the livelihood on the West Coast and Bohuslän for decades.
Midsummer – a highlight not to miss
Aside from Christmas, Midsummer is the most important celebration in the Swedish calendar. This is when Sweden grinds to a halt. So where are the Swedes then? They’re by the sea, celebrating summer, lighting bonfires, eating herring and drinking schnapps and beer for lunch. And they’re singing songs while dancing around a Maypole with flowers in their hair.
Crime novel experiences in the Swedish outdoors
Crime novels are close to a Swede’s heart! The Öresund Bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö is now world famous from the TV series The Bridge, and in Ystad in Skåne you can follow the bloody footsteps of the detective Wallander. What about the author Camilla Läckberg ? The plot of her books takes place in the picturesque fishing community Fjällbacka. Professional tours are offered in both villages. Art and nature in perfect harmony can also be experienced at Nordiska Akvarellmuseet (The Nordic Watercolour Museum) in Bohuslän . You find it in Skärhamn, next to the open air museum Pilane Sculpture Park . Here you can see several metre high sculptures alongside rock formations between the period 0 – 600 AD. Petroglyphs? Head to Basteröd which is flooded in artwork from the Bronze Age 3,000 years ago, or the petroglyphs in Vitlycke near Strömstad!
The great cultural sons and daughters of Central Sweden
Sweden has raised many great cultural sons and daughters; Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn’s artistic homes in Dalarna; along with Selma Lagerlöf’s Mårbacka in Värmland are all top sights. Tips: Relax in the gardens after your sightseeing and taking a Swedish Fika – i.e. a cup of strong coffee with a delicious slice of cake. Then you enjoy the art and the natural surroundings just like a Swede would do it!
Meet the Sami in Swedish Lapland
The town of Jokkmokk in northern Sweden is a historic meeting place for the Sami. Ájtte Museum is the centre – where you get to know everything about indigenous culture, history and way of life. Want to go horse riding , hiking, trying your hand at cooking Sami food or reindeer herding? Swedish Lapland has four national parks, and no-one knows them as well as the Sami!