Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cold fusion

JenniferThis was a holiday weekend in Sweden, for this year's observance of All Saints Eve. The exact date of All Saints varies from year to year, as it is celebrated on whichever Saturday evening falls between October 31 and November 6. On this day, Swedes remember their dead, and visit graves and leave on them flowers or pine branches or other small memorials. They also leave lit candles or little firepots, and the sight is quite beautiful.

Of course, this year All Saint's coincided with Halloween, an American holiday that seems to be gaining a foothold in Sweden, even since we've been here. Compared to last year, more stores have Halloween stuff, more people seemed to be going to a Halloween party, there was more standard Halloween imagery in the media, and so forth. After all, Halloween is an excuse to dress up, go out, eat candy, and have a party at a dark time of year. What could be more Swedish?

For ourselves, we got the best of both holidays by having a jack-o-lantern carving party on Friday night, then going out on Saturday to wander through Uppsala's scenic old graveyard. I was led to wonder whether the two holidays will remain separate, or will they someday fuse? My question was rhetorical, but we found a clue to what the future might hold, as we neared the end of our chilly ramble. Take a look again at the picture of a grave at the top of the post...

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