Bring on the Swedish summer! Posted by jennie on May 11, 2010 in Culture
Eurovision Song Contest 27-29 May
Since Sweden failed to deliver last year, we have to earn our place in the big Eurovision Song Contest on May 29th. But we have high hopes that our new songbird Anna Bergendahl will make it into the final. The former Idol contestant Anna won a landslide victory in the Swedish competition (we choose our entry extremely carefully – read more about that process here!) and the song “This is my life” have already reached no 1 on every Swedish chart. The semi final takes place on Thursday May 27th and at least half of Sweden will cross their fingers for Anna. Will you?
Weddings/Confirmations/Graduations, mainly May and June
It kicks if in the middle of May and continues almost throughout the whole summer. The celebration season is upon us! Weddings are extremely popular in May (read more about Swedish wedding customs here!) and thousands of 15 year olds get their confirmation (konfirmation) in May/June. Sweden has a long tradition of confirmation and it has always been an accepted part of society and looked upon as a transition rite leading to the adult world. During the 1970´s, however, the numbers of confirmands started to decrease steadily. Today, 40 percent of all fifteen-year olds are confirmed and the confirmation studies can take place on camps, abroad or in normal classes during a longer time period. The aim is to get the teenagers to explore the Christian faith from the background of their own life issues but today you can also choose a Humanist confirmation where the focus is more on human rights equality, racism, gender roles, love, sexuality and lifestyles.
School graduations are are also very much in focus in May and June, especially if you are 18 and graduate from the third grade in upper secondary school (gymnasiet). Graduation day (Studenten) is one of the most exciting days in a young Swedes life and is mostly filled with fizzy wine, party, presents and fun. Graduation day traditions varies all over the country, but it’s common that the students rush out from the school building where family and friends are waiting with flowers, presents and normally also a weird and fun vehicle to ride home in. Fancy cars, horse carriages, motorcycles, trucks, basically any kind of vehicle can then be seen – and heard!! – driving around the town with screaming and singing students wearing the white traditional hats.
The World Cup in South Africa 11 June-11 July
No, Sweden did not make it into the world cup, we where sadly beaten by Denmark in the final qualification game and Denamrk are now representing the whole of Scandinavia down there. So, the big question is naturally, shall we support our red and white neighbours this summer?? It’s worth considering since Denmark right this minute are surprising the whole ice hockey world by winning game after game in the world cup and potentially can end up playing Sweden in the quarter final… Will they kick our ass once again? Anyway, whatever flags we choose to wave this summer, the world cup will be big news in Sweden and we can at least be proud of having one Swedish judge amongst the judges. Yay, go Sweden!
Next time: The big fat and expensive royal wedding, taking place the 19th of June!
(Photo: Johnér, Sweden Image Bank)