Happy May

Last night was Walpurgis Night … in Sweden. Not only are there bonfires, but also … most town and cities have their choires and they will gather on the main square to sing songs about Spring. Härnösand … «my» little town, is no exception and it has now been eight years since I stood there, on the main square, listening to all those familiar songs. That, last time, it was a little more emotional than usual — I knew I was going to leave both Härnösand and Sweden a few days later …for Canada. They always finish with the national anthem, and that was really special, but still … it was like the full notion of what I was about to do — the plunge I was about to take — hadn’t really dawned on me. The excitement was too great. It would take quite some time for it to sink in … that I was in a foreign country, where I didn’t even speak the language [Quebec]. Even though I’d been told time after time, that it was only French in Quebec, I’d lived with some kind of illusion that I’d get by with English … at least amongst the young people.

Anyway … this last Walpurgis night, after going out for dinner with friends, my SIL and I drove up on the mountain … we stood there, looking out over the city … watched the bonfires burning here and there. I didn’t have a camera then, but I took some pictures from the same spot, when I was home now this last Fall.

Walpurgis Night is usually really nice, because Spring has sprung, all is lush and green, but I have experienced Walpurgis when it snowed so hard that they could hardly light the bonfires. A lot of partying is going on that night too … 1st of May is a holiday, so they have time to recuperate, before going back to work. Many people tend to party somewhat … differently there  compared to here.

19 Replies to “Happy May”

  1. Hi,
    Sounds like a lot of fun, a great idea to start the new season off with. 🙂
    If you get the chance to go back for a holiday, you will have to try and work this date into the time slot, so you can again be their for this special occasion.

    1. Hi Mags,
      Yes, this time of Spring would be a nice time to go there. It was Fall last time, which was also nice … the the colours and all, and I was really lucky with the weather; probably the warmest Fall they’d had there for years! We were out in T-shirts!

        1. yes, and in a way, I think I was too excited about the new, to fully realize what a huge step it was, I was about to take … leaving your home and your country at 50 … It really took some time before it really sank in.

  2. And here I thought Walpurgis Night was around Hallowe’en!
    When it’s almost the opposite —
    I think in a way it was truly a spring of your life as well —

  3. It does sound wonderful. I would love to go back to Sweden for a visit. I really liked it when I was there last–in 1983!! (I’m overdue, don’t you think?)

      1. We both need to go back for visits. Oh and my last trip to England was 1983, too. But Princess Diana was in Australia at the time so I didn’t get the chance to see her…but I did see the Queen Mum!

        1. I don’t know where anyone was … we did drive by Buckingham Palace and the flag was flying… I remember that 🙂

          1. I was a Princess Di fanatic so I was disappointed she wasn’t there. I was determined to see at least one royal so we stood outside St. Paul’s and finally saw her come past. I have a picture of her somewhere. It was neat!

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