Monthly Archives: October 2006

Halloween

Halloween

Halloween rapidly became established here in Sweden
Probably a result of smart commercial marketing

Swedes only recently began celebrating Halloween; it’s a welcome break and a good reason to party. As darkness falls across the land by the beginning of November, Sweden is enveloped in darkness and the long dark weeks stretch away endlessly so we take any opportunity to engage in some festivities. With our skeleton from the closet we bring out the friendly ghost instead to help bring this young tradition in the gathering dark out into the light.

The celebration of a particular custom often has lengthy roots. Some customs are traditional, with the emphasis on their religious origins, while others are of a contemporary, more commercial nature. The traditional customs comes from an old double holiday which includes All Saint’s day and All Soul’s day November 1st & 2nd. Today the public holiday is placed in the calendar the weekend after that. The custom of lighting candles on family graves started in the Stockholm area at the beginning of the 20th century and is still widely practiced. After the 2nd world war it spread throughout the country, anyone traveling trough Sweden on this weekend is met by some beautiful scenes. The countless points of light from the candles and lanterns placed on graves form beautiful patterns in the dark and lend a special feel to the landscape.