Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year’s Eve, 2011

Before the year recedes entirely into history, let's do a quick retrospective of it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas in Sweden

Time: Christmas Eve, 1700
Place: Scandinavia

What was it like to live in Sweden 300 years ago?

During the summer the average temperature was in the low 60’s. In the winter, it fell to 30 below. The mountain ranges running north up the peninsula were low enough so that some of the warmth from the western currents came to Sweden. We’re here during the Christmas season, so beware those cold winds from the Russian plains to the east!

Inside, people are eating holiday food such as hard rye bread in flatcakes and snacking on rolled bits of herring, salmon, eel. Vegetables and salads are laid before us. People are dressed in their holiday best as seen in the picture and down it with good grog.

They depart to worship at their local Lutheran Church, whose ultimate head is the King. Outside icicles dangle from the conifer trees and snow covers the meadows, fields, and roads.

Then the Jultomte (the house’s gnome or small dwarf), a folk myth from ancient days, brings the presents.

More information: Sweden’s official site.