Happy Valborg

Every year, on the last day of April, we celebrate Valborg in Scandinavia. This day was named after the saint Valborg. Hundreds of years ago people used to light big bonfires and run around screaming and howling to chase away witches. On this very day it was said that the witches were flying on their broomsticks or goats to the places where they were going to make their sacrifices. They were up to no good and joined forces with the devil.
 
Although way before the fear of witches began, people lit bonfires to get rid of the old and welcome the new. We are back to that tradition now. It's a joyous occation where hundreds of fires rise to the sky. Big crowds gather around them to play the lottery, there are kids games, a choir singing songs about spring and fire works. I have many wonderful childhood memories from this evening where I would always run around playing with my sister and friends and sometimes join the grown ups who stood there watching the fire all night. Sweden come alive at this time of year because it's a celebration of spring and the light that comes with it. So tonight I will see yet another one of these bonfires and enjoy every moment of it. I'm moving to California this fall so it will be a long time until I see something like this again and get to experience the magic of Valborg.
 

To know your history

I am very interested in history and have been working on my doing geaneology research for many years. I picked up where my grandfather left off. My grandmother's side of the family has a lot of history in Orresta right outside of Västerås. I spent every summer there in a 100 year old summer house. It was simple. Not fancy at all. I never understood why my friends would spend their summer holidays in a more modern summer house with a big TV, indoor plumbing and a pool. To me that was just a house. In my mind they could very well have just stayed at home. Now when I'm all grown up I have got to admit that I prefer a more modern home since living in an old house means a lot of work. But I miss how easy it was as a child to not have to worry about it. We just played and played. Ran around in the grass, woke up with condensation on the windows, fed the birds, ate outside while my grandmother was running in and out with pots and pans.
 
We could look across the field and see the church standing right there. During hundreds of years my family has been christened, married and buried there. My grandmother's father played a huge role in creating a society in Orresta and to not let it get taken over by the big city Västerås. To this day this place gives me the best of chills because I have many photos from back in the old days when my family worked hard to provide for themselves and in the evening would go to a meadow somewhere to dance the waltz. Or meet up at my great grandparents house where there was always a big party going on with plenty of food and friends.
 
To know nothing of what happened before you were born, is to forever remain a child

Count me in

If you don't hear me, if you don't
I will sing for you, just so you hear