Sunday, 19 January 2014

In Hibernation

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As this winter season so far has been rather uninspiring from photographic point of view, I’ve decided to let the Picture Book go into hibernation for a while. I might wake it up again when spring starts to bring a bit more colour back into the world. In the meantime, I’ll concentrate my blogging to my main blog – Beyond the Lone Islands.

Friday, 10 January 2014

FMTSO: Winter in My Town

Except for one cold and snowy week in early December, I think this must have been the most ‘unphotogenic’ winter in my blogging history. Since then (and still) it’s been constantly rainy and gray. I’ve hardly been out except for necessary grocery shopping; and the camera has been left at home on most of those occasions.

This is the only recent outdoors photo I have to offer – and even that was taken looking out from a window:

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View from the Abecita Art Museum a week ago, overlooking a parking lot adjoining a shopping center (not all under one roof but spread over quite a large area).

The link will take you to a post on my other blog about the museum and an exhibition of huge colourful tapestries I visited there. More fun to look at than rainy winter!

Or if you prefer, scroll back down through my December posts on this blog for more wintry pictures.

Friday My Town

Friday, 27 December 2013

FMTSO: Holiday Traditions

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One of the holiday traditions in Sweden is to put up extra lights in almost every window. Electric candlesticks in a variety of sizes and shapes, and/or stars. It’s also common to put a wreath or other decoration on your front door:

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I took these photos today on my walk to/from the supermarket. The stone building is an old factory; the yellow wooden house was once upon a time the residence of the managing director. Nowadays both buildings have been converted into offices.

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Snow for Christmas is something we can’t make a tradition of in this part of Sweden, even if it does belong in our mind’s image of how it “should” be. This year we had a mild, stormy and rainy Christmas; with the water level in the river rising very high.

Friday My Town Shoot Out – Holiday Traditions

Thursday, 12 December 2013

FMTSO: What Lights Up My Town in December

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The Christmas Tree and Market in the Square.

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Light decorations replacing the water in the fountain.

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Inside this tent (or goahti) there’s a temporary café serving hot drinks (coffee, tea or ‘glögg’) and perhaps a ginger biscuit or Lucia bun. Inside they have a live fire burning. There are fires outside in the square too, where you can warm your hands for a while:

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In the wooden market stalls they sell mostly food stuff or handicraft objects, or lottery tickets.

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Roasted almonds here!

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On some days there are extra tents put up at the market.

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In the streets there are “curtains” of lights hanging between the buildings:

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Lucia, or St Lucy’s Day, is celebrated on 13th December. In Sweden, it’s customary for each town to elect a Lucia with a number of maids who spend December going round to various public places, singing traditional Lucia and Christmas songs, and collecting money for  charity. They also visit hospitals and nursing homes etc to bring joy to people who can’t get around much themselves.

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My town’s official Lucia crowning ceremony took place on 7th December this year. (By then Lucia and her maids had already been “at work” for a week or two, though.) That ceremony takes place on the terrace on top of the stairs of the town hall/courthouse, at 4 pm when it’s getting dark.

This is the best shot I was able to get with my little camera from below in the crowd:

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We also have a more recent tradition of an ice sculpture or sculptures also being hewn on the spot by an ice sculptor that weekend. I was not there to watch it being made this year and I’m not actually sure what it’s supposed to represent. (Since Saturday it’s first been snowing a lot and then thawing a lot, and I’ve not been back to the square this week, so not sure what’s left of the sculptures now!)

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Anyway there were also fireworks to celebrate:

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While waiting for the bus back home, I looked up into a perfectly clear, deep blue sky with a crescent moon, doing its best to compete with all the man-made lights:

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Wishing you all a Happy St. Lucy’s Day on 13th December!
~ Monica ~

 

Welcome to also visit my main blog: Beyond the Lone Islands