Sweden Culture and Traditions

Sweden Culture and Traditions

CULTURE: TRADITIONS

Sweden was a fundamentally agricultural country until the nineteenth century and this aspect, together with the close link with nature and its changes over the seasons, has greatly influenced its customs. The awakening of nature is celebrated between April 30 and May 2. Night fires, libations of beer and cider, sausages, barley focaccia cheer up the party that begins on the night of Walpurgis, of pre-Christian origins, traditionally propitious to fairy or demonic apparitions, which ends with dances around a symbolic red pole, decorated with flowers and leaves. The anniversary has also been celebrated for some time by the goliardic corporations (in particular in the universities of Uppsala and Lund), which, on the night of April 30, grant the student cap to freshmen. summer solstice (Midsommar). The latter is celebrated at the end of June, a period that coincides with the beginning of the holidays, and all the bodies of water are filled with boats at the same time. The end of August also marks the end of the summer. But the holidays don’t stop when the cold returns. On 11 November, San Martino, is the feast of the goose and a soup made from goose blood appears on all tables in Sweden, replaced in the far north of the country by a special dish of herring. The celebrations of Christmas here last even a month and go from December 13, the feast of St. Lucia (Luciadagen), which celebrates the longest night of the year, on the twentieth day after Christmas, in which tradition has it that the boys, disguised as beggars, go from house to house to sing popular melodies (folkvisor) to receive small gifts in exchange. It should be noted that music and dance are much loved by the Swedes, lovers of latar, instrumental ballads with violins and flutes to rhythm the folk dances, repeated in the Dalarna, central region of the country, where the ancient costumes are still worn on every propitious occasion, with brightly colored skirts for women, bow tights for men. Among the traditional customs there is also that of writing verses from the Bible on fir barks, painted in bright colors. Lovers of sports, especially of those on snow and ice, the Swedes, lovers of outdoor life, are excellent navigators and even in the heart of Stockholm there are many who own small boats that dot the suggestive area of ​​’ archipelago. The handicraft is widespread above all in Dalecarlia (fabrics, embroideries, worked wood) and in Lapland (objects of costume jewelery and small jewelery). The traditions in glass and crystal processing, tapestries and carpets are also noteworthy. § The cuisine is generous: abundant breakfasts in the morning (accompanied by the characteristic rye flour biscuits), soups and meat at midday. Salmon (smoked or marinated), pork sausages, smoked reindeer, lutfisk), herring with garlic and mustard. The cuisine generally has a sweet and sour flavor; a typical example is the salted goose, whose recipe also includes sugar. Other typical dishes are pork chop with apple puree, pork with dark beans and meatballs. Swedes are very fond of canapés (smörgds), which are often eaten buffet-style accompanied with brandy, potato dishes, cheeses and excellent desserts (berry tarts and whipped cream cakes). In many dishes, dill appears as a condiment. The most popular drink remains tea, but beer and cider are also widely consumed. Visit vaultedwatches.com for Sweden an easy and popular tourist destination.

CULTURE: MUSIC

The testimonies of a musical life captured in the Middle Ages are limited to the diffusion of Gregorian chant and also local sacred production, almost always of a monodic character. The affirmation of polyphony is late and only in 1526 Gustavo Vasa founded the court musical chapel in Stockholm. For a long time, however, foreign musicians predominated in the activity of the court chapel: alongside the relevant influences from northern Germany we must remember French and Italian presences. Of German origin is Gustav Düben (1624-1690), the greatest exponent of a dynasty of musicians who headed the court chapel until the early decades of the eighteenth century. In this century Swedish musical life was conditioned by the growing presence of a new bourgeois audience: public concerts were held in Stockholm from 1731. Of particular importance was the figure of JH Roman (1694-1758), who had trained in London and is affected by the ‘ FG Händel. Alongside him we remember JJ Agrell (1701-1763), active in Germany, and two German composers, Abbot Vogler (1749-1814) and JG Naumann (1741-1801) who together with the Italian FA Uttini (1723- 95) were among the protagonists of the flourishing of musical theater, stimulated at the end of the century. XVIII by Gustavo III. While Italian and French influences prevailed in opera and German influences in symphonic and chamber music, at the beginning of the nineteenth century there was a growing interest in the traditions of Swedish folk song. Dominates the first half of the century. XIX the great figure of FA Berwald (1796-1868), probably the greatest Swedish composer. The acceptance of “national” inflections in some works gave I. Hallström (1826-1901) the nickname of Swedish Glinka; A. Söderman (1832-76) also belongs to a similar current. The influence of Wagner and Liszt can be seen in A. Hallen (1846-1925). The relationships with the music of the Norwegians EH Grieg and JS Svendsen, the Danish CA Nielsen and the Finnish J. Sibelius are later noticeable. After E. Sjögren (1853-1918), W. Stenhammar (1871-1927) and H. Alfvén (1872-1960) are remembered in the century. XX among others N. Berg (1879-1957), K. Atterberg (1887-1974), H. Rosenberg (b.1892), KB Blomdahl (1916-1968) and, among the followers of the avant-garde currents of the postwar period, B. Nilsson (b.1937) and B. Hambraeus (b.1928). Among the popular musical traditions, the Sami one is of particular interest.

Sweden Culture and Traditions