Midsommar as Swedes call it, is by far one of the most popular and celebrated days during the whole year. I dare say it’s as big as Christmas Eve.
Midsommar takes place in the middle of June and is a celebration of “Sommarsolståndet”, which means that day and night are the exact same length.
It’s as light as daylight at midnight and the story is that if you pick 7 different wild flowers and put them under your pillow, you’ll dream about your future spouse.
Usually there is dancing, eating and drinking involved. The rising of the Midsummer pole is a big thing, and when it’s been risen we dance around it, often accompanied by folk music.
Midsommar is very much about the children and both girls and boys are all dressed up, often in all white. We eat pickled herring and new potatoes with snaps and beer for lunch, and at night we usually barbeque and have strawberry cake for dessert.
Cancelled bookfairs, concerts and exhibitions, postponed filmfestivals, sports events and closed museums… The list over cancelled or postponed events due to covid-19 could go on and on. This goes for Sweden as well as the rest of the world.
Can you claim your money back?
But what about all the tickets that have been sold; can they be re-imbursed? Do you as a consumer own the right to claim your money back?
The anwer is yes, you do have the right to claim your money back as long as the concert, exhibition, sports event or any other event has been cancelled du to covid-19.
Keep in mind that this hasn’t been legally established yet, in regards to the Coronavirus, which means that you could be forced to file a complaint to ARN (Allmänna reklamationsnämnden) in order to get a trial.
In that case you have bought your ticket from an agency or a company in another EU-country, you will need to get in to be advised by the European Consumers Agency which specializes in cross-border trade.
Some of this summer’s cancelled events in Sweden: Statement Festival, Ulf Lundell summertour, Håkan Hellström x 3 at Ullevi, Sweden Rock Festival, Öland Roots, Summerburst, Polar Music Prize Awards, Market Art Fair Stockholm, ART, Stockholm Filmfestival Junior (postponed), Dreamhack Jönköping (postponed).
During the Corona pandemic the Swedish physician, state epidemiologist and member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Anders Tegnell, has become world famous. He has a degree in medicine has served as an AT physician while specializing on infectious diseases. He also has a masters degree in epidemiology.
Since 2014 Tegnell is working as a state epidemiologist at the Public Health Authority (Folkhälsomyndigheten), a Swedish government agency with a national responsibility for public health issues. The Public Health Authority is also involved in public health issues in the EU and The World Health Organization (WHO).
Experienced and highly skilled
Anders Tegnell also has experience from working abroad, both for the World Health Organisation (in Laos) and for Linköping University (in former Zaire), where Tegnell had use for his knowledge about epidemic diseases in connection with of Ebola virus. During the ravages of Covid 19 Tegnell has acted expert om behalf of the Public Health Authority, and according to a recent survey 71% of the Swedes feel confidence in both Anders Tegnell and the Public Health Authority.
World Health Organization
The Coronavirus disease outbreak situation according to WHO Confirmed cases 1 May: 3 181 642 Confirmed deaths 1 May: 224 301 Countries, areas and territories with cases 1 May: 215
The Public Health Agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten) is monitoring the development of the Corona virus closely. They consider the risk of infection spreading in Sweden as very high.
The Swedish Government listens carefully to the advice and expertise of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, and are making necessary adjustments almost every day. Their main focus is to stop the Corona virus from spreading.
Measurements so far
At this point mandatory quarantine is not considered to be motivated, according to the Swedish Government. The Public Health Agency describes it as “a powerful measure that is strictly regulated in the Communicable Diseases Act”. However, people who are in need of hospital care are isolated while waiting for test results.
The population as a whole are well and continuously informed and updated on how to avoid spreading and/or catching the Corona virus. At this point, elementary schools and work places stay open, and public transport is running.
Gatherings of 500 people or more are prohibited, while large gatherings and travelling is advised against. Most large events have been cancelled or postponed, and many hotels, restaurants, bars, shops etcetera are (almost) deserted.
Symptoms and incubation time
The main symptoms are respiratory illness, fever and cough. The incubation period is 2–14 days.
Close contacts can spread the virus from person-to-person, but at this moment there’s no indication that the virus spreads via objects, according to the Public Health Agency of Sweden.
What we can do
Listen to the experts
Wash hands often
Use soap and warm water
Use alcohol-based hand rub as an alternative (washing your hands should always be the number one precaution)
Are you a Swede living or studying abroad? Are you travelling the world?
Either you’re about to move, travel, study or just visit for a while, you might feel the need to get in touch with other Swedes. There are both groups to join and lots of website with helpful information.
Online groups and websites
There are many different groups online, especially on Facebook. You’ll find some of them here: Swedes abroad
Utrikesdepartementet, UD (Department of Foreign Affairs) can help both private persons and companies in various situations.
On the website for the organisation Svenskar i världen (Swedes in the world) there’s a lot of interesting information and helpful links.
One of the largest organisations for Swedes living in America is SWEA. Here is a link to the latest issue of Swea News. Här hittar du SWEA i Sociala Medier.
Gothenburg Horse Show is considered to be one of the most prestigious and best indoor horse-shows in the world. The event has been reoccuring every year since the first show in 1977. Since then, over 3 million visitors have visited this amazing event in Scandinavium in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Gothenburg Horse Show is a spectacular sports event where only the best riders, and the best horses, from all over the world get to compete. Both competitors and audiences have stayed true to the event, which is seen as one of the main reasons it is still such a prestigious competition.
Sweden has managed to win the tropy no less than five times thru sensational performances by Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (1996, 2005 and 2019), Emma Emanuelsson (2014) and Peder Fredricson (2015).
All the winners from 1977 – 2020
1977 Gerd Wiltfang, Germany 1978 Eddie Macken, Irland 1979 Hugo Simon, Austria 1980 Harvey Smith, Great Britain 1981 Fritz Ligges, Germany 1982 Bernie Traurig, USA 1983 Nick Skelton, Great Britain 1984 Eddie Macken, Irland 1985 Rob Ehrens, The Netherlands 1986 Ian Miller, Canada 1987 John Whitaker, Great Britain 1988 Franke Sloothaak, Germany 1989 Thomas Fuchs, Switzerland 1990 John Whitaker, Great Britain 1991 Hervé Godignon, France 1992 Nick Skelton, Great Britain 1993 Nick Skelton, Great Britain 1994 Eddie Macken, Irland 1995 Jan Tops, The Netherlands 1996 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden 1997 Alison Firestone, USA 1998 Stefan Lauber, Switzerland 1999 Willi Melliger, Switzerland 2000 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany 2001 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany 2002 Toni Hassmann, Germany 2003 Marcus Ehning, Germany 2004 Robert Smith, Great Britain 2005 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden 2006 Jessica Kürten, Irland 2007 Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Germany 2008 Jessica Kürten, Irland 2009 Edwina Alexander, Australia 2010 Abdullah Al Sharbatly, Saudi Arabia 2011 Philippe Rozier, France 2012 Marcus Ehning, Germany 2013 Ludger Beerbaum, Germany 2014 Emma Emanuelsson, Sweden 2015 Peder Fredricson, Sweden 2016 Marcus Ehning, Germany 2017 Aldrick Cheronnet, France 2018 Robert Whitaker, Great Britain 2019 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Sweden 2020 Daniel Deusser, Germany
There is this certain color, a very specifik red nuance, which is called Falu red, or Faluröd as it’s called in Swedish.
Falu red paint is mainly used to paint the exterior of a house, and usually on smaller cottages and/or summer houses. You’ve probably seen pictures of the idyllic little Swedish cottage with a white wooden fence and white house knots?
The Falu red houses are obviously common in Falun, but they do also appear frequently in the small fishing villages on the West Coast of Sweden.
The European Committe focuses on cities working to strengthen sustainability and innovation within the area of tourism.
35 cities from 17 differens European countries competed for the title, but in the end it was Gothenburg, together with Malaga, that stood out from the crowd.
A jury of seven, some members of the European Commission, others members of the European Parliament, crowned these two European cities “Capitals of Smart Tourism 2020” at the official award ceremony in Helsinki in October, 2019.
According to the jury, Gothenburg stood out thanks to the “impressive programme of activities” the city has to offer, and its “suitability to act as role models for other burgeoning smart tourism destinations”.
The Swedes have been celebrating Easter, originally according to the Gregorian Calendar, since 1844. Until 1969 everything was closed on Easter Friday (in Swedish “Långfredag”, or Long Friday) – grocery stores, cinemas, restaurants, clothing stores etc. Of course due to the memory of Jesus Christ.
The last supper
According to Christian tradition Jesus arose from the dead during the Jewish “Pesach” (in Swedish “påsk”). In Sweden Easter is a holiday/tradition in which folklore, ancient Nordic tradition and Christian tradition are mixed together.
Easter is celebrated sometime between March 22:nd and April 25:th. Many Swedes see it mainly as an opportunity to gather friends and family, eat lots of good food and sweets etc.
Traditional food and drinks
The Swedes like to shoot fire crackers during Easter, which normally lasts for five days: Skärtorsdag, Långfredag, Påskafton, Påskdagen and Annandag Påsk.
Traditionally we have Påskmust, Påsköl and snaps to drink and pickled herring, smoked salmon, kavring, eggs, meat balls, cheese and lots of sweets to eat (see my post on Swedish candy).
Easter is also a celebration of light, since the Swedes are coming out of a long, dark winter period. Easter means spring is around the corner, and the flower markets are filled with people longing for floral beauty.