Valborg Fest

Trip Start Mar 02, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Sweden  ,
Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Another weekend of Swedish traditions. Sunday was the holiday Valborg. Valborg is celebrated on the 30th of April every year. It is a celebration of springtime and the end of winter. It is common to light a huge bonfire (historically bonfires were lit to keep away evil or bad spirits). Of course in Sweden, this holiday, like all others is a great oppurtunity for people to gather and eat tons of sil (pickled herring) and drink lots of Snaps (which is shots of pure vodka or something similar which is best described as vodka flavored by different spices, they have hundreds of different kinds of Snaps in Sweden, none of which taste good). Mattias had football training so I went to the party with his family until he arrived later. IT was a fairly good night (I behaved and only had one Snaps and a couple ciders).

Monday was a red day from the holiday, so Mattias didn't have to go to work, and so we went on a little scenic drive. I really want to take some pictures of nature and old buildings on Gotland this time while I'm here, so Im hoping we will have time to go to a new place every weekend or two. This time we didn't venture too far, as we only drove abour 6 km to Lau. However, although it is close, I have never taken the time to visit the church in Lau or the ruins of the old church next to it. Lau kyrka (church) is the largest of all the medieval churches on the island and was constructed sometime during the 12th century. There are 92 medieval churches on Gotland and I try to visit as many as I can when I have the oppurtunity. So far I have visited 12, so I have a ways to go before seeing them all. Next to the church are ruins of an even older church. After visiting the church, we stopped by a small viking graveyard, which consisted of two "boat" graves. Boat graves usually indicate that someone of great power or respect was buried there. These gravesites date back to the Bronze Age.
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