Then it was off to town, and the Julmarknad, with people selling jul-stuff from stalls—pine wreaths and boughs and bunches of mistletoe. Other stalls were selling home-made julklappar, like home-knit socks and hats, hand carved pop-guns and animal figurines, jams and preserved fruit, honey, special goat cheese from one of the local dairies... there were also tables of charities giving out cookies and selling hot dogs, and other vendors selling candy and ice cream. We got our traditional stektströmming och potatismos med lingon from the fancy restaurant, a bargain at 45 SEK.
Then we walked up the hill to the castle to watch the fireworks (start time at kl. 16.30, by which time it has been safely dark for an hour at least), which are set off from the Botanical Garden. They have fireworks every year on first advent, but this was the 20th year in a row that the local newspaper was sponsoring them, so it was advertised that this year's display would be quite special. Did I mention that the weather has been bad? Well, it would have been much worse for spectators if it were raining hard, but I can only imagine that the fireworks engineers were frantically discussing whether to carry on, on account of the fog we had all day, and which was getting noticeable worse as the evening cooled off. They went ahead with the show, and it was very good indeed, though some of the higher mortars were quite lost in the murk. They coordinated everything to music—the first was something classical that I can't remember, than a catchy pop tune from last year, then finished off with "It's Raining Men," which struck me as funny, especially when the 6-year-olds behind us started singing along to the chorus. The finale included a long row of short-height magnesium stars that lit the place up almost like real daylight for a few glorious seconds, and was probably the highest number of bursts I have seen in the sky simultaneously. Even the Swedes hooted and hollered in appreciation. A fine end to a quite lovely day. Happy Advent, everyone!