Običaji

 

Novo leto pričakajo  Švedi podobno kot drugi Evropejci v veseli družbi družine in prijateljev, ob dobri večerji z nazdravljanjem »SKÅL«. Na silvestrovo zlijejo raztopljen svinec v mrzlo vodo in v figurah ki se oblikujejo, poskušajo najti skrivnosti, ki jim bo razkrilo prihajajoče se leto. Ob prehodu na novo leto si delijo pozdrave in obljube tako da bo novo leto še boljše in uspešnejše.

 

Zadnji torek pred veliko nočjo, v tihem tednu, je čas za »fettisdagsbulle«, bogat krof polnjen z marcipanom in smetano. Danes to sladico lahko kupiš kjerkoli že od božica naprej, posladkaš se navadno z njo skupaj s skodelico toplega mleka. Na ta dan in vse do velikega petka hodijo od hiše do hiše srčkane čarovnice z metlo in ljubke mačke, t.i. »påskkäringar«, ki domujejo na »Blåkulla« (Sinjem vrhu), tako kot govori tradicija iz 19. stoletja.

 

Velika noč pri Švedih ni toliko verski, obredni praznik, kot je to čas, ko ljudje po dolgi zimi spet globoko zadihajo in prevetrujejo svoje poletne hišice na podeželju. Identiteta Šveda, čeprav večina ljudi že zelo dolgo živi v mestih, je še vedno podeželska. Švedski človek ima skoraj pobožen odnos do narave in je z njo čustveno močno povezan. Bolj kot religiozen, je to praznik tradicionalnih jedi, kot so jajca, ribe in jagnjetina, zalite z žganjem in vinom, za otroke pa veliko sladkarij.

 

Kresovanje na Valburgo (Valburga Mässo Afton) ima tako kot pri nas v Sloveniji že dolgo zgodovino. Tudi ta običaj je predvsem povezan z občutki prebujanja narave, je praznik ki povezuje ljudi neke skupnosti, vasi, soseske, šole in je praznik študentov pred koncem študijskega leta. Zborovsko petje domoljubnih, študentskih, pomladnih, pa tudi nabožnih pesmi, doni po vsej deželi. Študenti, novi in stari, si posadijo na glavo svoje bele kape in tako pozdravijo prihajajočo pomlad. Iz dveh najstarejših univerzitetnih središč, Uppsale in iz mesta Lund, prenaša televizija vsako leto dogajanje in nagovore študentov in predstojnikov.

 

To kar predstavlja kresovanje ob Janez Krstniku na Slovenskem, se na Švedskem imenuje »midsommar«, pomen in vsebina pa sta si zelo sorodna. Tradicija prižiganja ognja in verovanja v nadnaravna dogajanja izvira na Švedskem še iz poganskih časov. Sedanja oblika praznovanja in značilni okrašeni mlaj v obliki zelenega križa sta verjetno prišla iz nemških dežel v sedemnajstem stoletju. K praznovanju najkrajše noči leta sodijo ples in petje okrog mlaja, večerna gostija z veliko alkohola, prav tako pa tudi posledice tega početja.

 

V začetku avgusta, ko so večeri prijetno topli, pa je čas za ”kräfskivan” - pojedino rečnih rakov. Raki, kuhani v slani vodi z veliko odmero svežega kopra, se ponudijo hladni skupaj s kruhom, okusnim sirom, zalijejo pa se s pivom in obveznim žganjem. Glasno sesanje vsebine iz rakovega oklepa ne moti nikogar, vzdušje pa narašča ob prepevanju številnih zdravljic, ob pogledu na družbo s pisanimi klobučki, ovratniki in lampijoni.

 

Na Martinovo v začetku novembra gostilne tradicionalno ponudijo martinovo gosko (”martingås”), še posebno popularno na jugu, v pokrajini Skåne. Gostija se začne s krepko začinjeno »črno juho« pripravljeno iz gosje juhe in gosje krvi. Goska, polnjena z jabolki in slivami, se počasi peče v lastni maščobi in ponudi s praženim rdečim zeljem, jabolki in pečenim krompirjem.

 

Prvi advent v decembru, ko so Švedi zaradi vse večjega pomanjkanja svetlobe že vsi bledi in nervozni, prinese olajšanje. Po vsej deželi prižgejo ljudje tople lučke in adventne zvezde v svojih oknih, na trgih in cestah, v javnih prostorih, povsod kjer želijo pregnati temo. Lučke prinašajo novo upanje in pozlatijo turobne dneve in noči. Božič je blizu!

 

Tudi Lucijo, ki ima god 13. decembra, Švedi obeležujejo kot svetnico, ki prinaša luč in upanje. Že tedne pred dogodkom izbirajo bralci svojo kandidatko med številnimi dekleti, ki so navadno predstavljene v lokalnem časopisu. Lucija izbere svoje spremstvo in med petjem poznane melodije Santa Lucija in drugih božičnih napevov obiskuje šole, bolnišnice in različne druge skupnosti. Tudi Nobelovim nagrajencem, ki po podelitvi priznanj in nagrad desetega decembra bivajo v Grand hotelu sredi Stockholma, postreže izbrana švedska Lucija z jutranjo kavo ter pecivom lussebullar in pepparkakor.

 

Z Božičem prihaja med Švede višek letnih praznovanj in običajev. Po skrbnih pripravah v kuhinji, po stresnem nakupovanju darov, po postavljanju božičnega drevesca in krašenju hiše, sredi šolskih božičnih počitnic, je predbožični večer končno tukaj. Praznovanje švedskega božiča, veselega družinskega dogodka, je skupek domačih in tujih virov; nekaj je še verske tradicije, še več pa modernega potrošništva.  Švedska tradicija je gotovo bogato obložena božična miza z ribjimi jedmi, svinjsko pečenko in božično kašo. Hišnemu škratu »hustomten«, ki ščiti naš dom in živi pod zunanjim stopniščem, moramo na božični večer prinesti krožnik kaše, če hočemo da nas bo še naprej  varoval pred nesrečo. Na primer Jultomten, ki kot Božiček prinaša božična darila in nekatere druge tradicije, so našle pot v švedsko božično folklor iz drugih okolij. Božični čas se konča 13. januarja, imenovan tudi « tjugondagknut«, torej dvajseti dan po božiču. Za tiste, ki jim je božični stres in vse močnejši potrošniški pritisk prenaporen, je v tem času običajen pobeg v tople kraje drugih kontinentov.

 

 
 
 
 

Praznovanje dneva Sv. Lucije v Ljubljani

Praznovanje najdaljšega dne v letu (midsommar). Ob tej priložnosti na Švedskem postavijo mlaj, okrašen s cvetjem.

Customs

 

In Sweden, the New Year is celebrated the same way as in the rest of Europe, in the merry company of family and friends, with a festive dinner and the toasting ‘’SKÅL’’. On New Year’s Eve they pour melted lead into cold water and from the figures that are formed try to discern the secrets which the year to come holds in store for them. As they cross over to yet another year they exchange greetings and best wishes for an even better and more successful new year.

 

The last Tuesday before Easter, during the Holy week, there is time for ‘’fettisdagsbulle’’, a rich doughnut filled with marzipan and cream. Today this dessert can be bought almost everywhere any time after Christmas and is usually relished together with a cup of warm milk. On that day and each day up to the Good Friday there is a tradition of adorable witches with brooms walking from house to house, together with cute cats, called ‘’påskkäringar’’, who supposedly dwell on the ‘’ Blåkulla’’ (Blue Hilltop), according to the 19th century tradition.

 

In Sweden, Easter isn’t so much a religious holiday as it is a time of the year when people after a long winter start breathing again and begin to air their countryside summer cottages. The identity of the Swedes, even though they have for long now been living mostly in cities, is still tied to the countryside. A Swede has an almost religious relationship to nature and is intensely connected to it. Easter is a holiday of traditional dishes, such as eggs, fish and lamb, accompanied by spirit and wine, and loads of sweets for the children.

 

The Saint Walburga Midsummer Day celebration (Valburga Mässo Afton) has in Sweden just as in Slovenia a long tradition. This custom is linked primarily to the emotions of the awakening nature, it is a holiday connecting people within a community, a village, a neighbourhood or a school – and a celebration day for students before the end of the academic year. The choral singing of patriotic, student, spring and also religious songs resounds all over the entire country. Students, new and old, put their white hats onto their heads, thereby celebrating the arrival of spring. Each year the national television has a live broadcast of the happening and the addresses of students and heads of departments from the two oldest Swedish university centres, Uppsala and Lund.

 

The celebration of John the Baptist in Slovenia corresponds to the Swedish ‘’midsommar’’, the meaning and content of both sharing many similarities. In Sweden, the tradition of lighting fires and that of supernatural beliefs stem from pagan times. The present form of celebration with the typically decorated maypole in the form of a green cross, has probably arrived from German lands in the 17th century. The shortest night of the year is celebrated by dancing and singing around the maypole, with the evening feast with plenty of alcohol and all of its consequences.

 

In the beginning of August, when the evenings are pleasantly warm, it is time for ”kräfskivan” – the feast of river crabs. Crabs, cooked in salted water and plentifully seasoned with fresh dill, are served cold together with bread, tasty cheese, and accompanied by beer and obligatory spirit. The loud sucking of meat from the crab’s armour doesn’t disturb anyone, and the atmosphere is rising with the singing of countless toasts, a wonderful view of a company with colourful hats, collars and lanterns.

 

On St. Martin’s Day at the beginning of November, the inns traditionally offer the Martin’s goose (”martingås”), in particular in the southern Skåne County. The feast starts with a hearty spiced ‘’black soup’’, prepared from the goose soup and the goose blood. The goose, filled with apples and plums, is slowly baked in its own fat and then served with sautéd red cabbage, apples and baked potatoes.

 

The first Advent in December, when the Swedes due to the ever growing lack of light are already pale and nervous, brings a relief. Across the entire country, people light warm lights and Advent stars in their windows, on squares and streets, in public spaces and everywhere where they wish to chase away the darkness. The lights instill new hope and gild the gloomy days and night. Christmas is near!

 

Lucia, too, is celebrated by the Swedes as a saint, bringing light and hope – her name day is December 13. Already weeks ahead of that day the readers choose their favourites from among the candidates presented in the local newspaper. Lucia chooses her company and visits schools, hospitals and various other communities, singing the well-known tunes Santa Lucia and other Christmas songs. Also Nobel Prize winners, staying at the Grand Hotel in the centre of Stockholm after the distribution of prizes and awards on December 10, are served by the chosen Swedish Lucia a morning coffee and pastry ‘’lussebullar’’ and ‘’pepparkakor’’.

 

With Christmas, the yearly celebrations and customs of Sweden reach their culmination. Following the meticulous preparations in the kitchen, the stressful shopping of the gifts, the raising of the Christmas tree and the decorating of the house, in the midst of Christmas school holidays, Christmas Eve is finally here. The celebration of the Swedish Christmas, which is a merry family event, is a combination of domestic and foreign influences; there are still remains of a religious tradition, but mostly it consists of modern consumerism. The Swedish tradition is definitely a richly laden Christmas table with fish dishes, roast pork and Christmas porridge. The house dwarf ‘’hustomten’’, who protects the house and lives under the outer staircase, needs on Christmas Eve to be given a plate of porridge, if we wish to secure his further protection from harm. ‘’Jultomten’’, bringing as Father Christmas gifts, as well as a number of other traditions have found their way into the Swedish Christmas folklore from other cultures. The Christmas time ends on January 13, also called «tjugondagknut«, that is 20 days after Christmas itself. All those who find the Christmas stress and the ever more demanding consumerism overbearing, at this time of the year usually escape to the warm destinations of other continents.