Do anyone remember the post I posted the forth of November about the shift in season? M-R, a blogger in Australia pointed out after seeing a purple photo from the lake close to my house during sunset that I should show more photos so it would be possible for those who are not accustomed to the shift in seasons to see the variations. And so I promised her, to do just that.
This is my second post in the series of the shift in seasons. The last post covers July to late October and works as a recap on some Swedish phonmenas that all Swedes know but that might come as a surprise to others. I talk about the hot july weather and it´s green surroundings, the possibility to hang on the beach and Allemansrätten. I speak of the dog days and mushroom season during August, September and it´s fog as well as its expression ”“You should freeze waiting for the winter and sweat waiting for the summer””. I also talk about October and the frost as well as the shift in colors and warm weather during the brittsummer. The post ends with the shift to November, where the grey weather arrives as well as the dead eyes of the Swedish people.
We are now in the middle of December and I will cover the time since the last post (the forth of November until the middle of December, today). Since then, nothing and everything have happened, at least to the climate.
In November we have been in for another long run of greyness. It has been grey grey grey grey and more grey. Actually I don’t think I ever experienced this much fog before as the fog of 2014. Have you?
But on the other side November also continues give us a special green grass. By some reason the grey doesn´t overthrow the green that much, at least not on my favorite photo beach in November. I consider the green as a warning. This is the month when the last of the crops should be taken care of by the farmer though now comes winter.
In a way all this grey and all this mud that you have to overcome this time of year makes you stronger and more creative. It is not possible to survive if you don´t challenge yourself everyday. It is very tricky to get a good photo but in the right spot the grey also adds to the setting, especially close to lakes or beaches.
November has a lot of celebrations, or I am I wrong? We have Halloween (Allhelgona in Sweden, not the same as Halloween), Black Friday, Thanks giving, Fathers day and Movember, the latest a new thing to turn the light on prostate cancer.
Allhelgona is an all Swedish holiday celebrated during the shift from Oktober to November. Alla helgons dag is the day in Sweden when we celebrate all saints. It isn’t that important anymore, people just know that it is a holiday.
When December arrives the celebrations continues and Advent and Lucia is here. This marks the begining of the Christmas celebration and Lucia is celebrated the 13th of December. The Lucia celebrations is a mix of Christian and early Christian celebrations and during Lucia Swedes drink the beverage Glögg (Christmas wine) and eat gingerbread and saffron buns called Lussekatter. We also sing a broad variety of songs called Lucia songs and in school and churches the tradition is of much importance. The kids and grown ups dress up in white dresses and have glitter in their hair and one person acts as Lucia and this person wear a crown. The boys are normally dressed as stjärngossar (no translation, direct translation is star-boys) but I guess there can be a big variety as little santas and gingerbread men as well in the Lucia tåg. This tradtion is only celebrated in Sweden and Italy but have come to be spread to Swedish areas in other countries as center- USA and Finland etc. The tradition in Italy isn’t the same as in Sweden. In Sicily, where the saint Saint Lucia was born, a Lucia tradition where children leave the food to Lucia as well as a ”flying donkey” that helps Lucia giving gifts, is celebrated. If the kids happen to see her, she will according to the legend throw ashes in their eyes, so that they become temporarily blind. A fun notice is that I have been to the birthtown of Lucia, Syracusa, when traveling to Sicilly in 2010.
And finally, the snow arrives! By now, the Swedes are so exhausted and tired at work that people just mutter to one another. We bring out our warmest clothes and hide under blankets at home hoping that winter will pass eventually,though somewhat glad that the snow has arrived due to the enorm darkness. The snow lights up the place and you walk around in the first snow, dreaming of when you where a kid, playing in the snow, building snowmen and making snowangels. The sound when walking in fresh snow is special, it squeaks in a cool way, making the sound of old wooden and leather shoes.
And every year the snow creates traffic kaos, even though we have had snow longer than we have had the car. Last year Martin got lost in the forest and stuck at the same time as the plowing-guy got stuck in Grythyttan, so, well no one of us seem to come prepared. Yet every year we survive.
By now you believe that we have winters worse than Siberia, but that is not the thruth. Due to the good phenomena the Gulf stream, the warm waters that comes from the gulf of Mexico and passes Norway, we have winters that is considered mild in comparison. If not we would have polarbears walking the streets of Stockholm. As it is now, we don´t, I assure you!
Well, that is all for now. By the middle of December most Swedes have finished their Christmas present buys but me and Martin still have some left. That is what we where doing this weekend and probably will do next week.
I wish you all a great December!
Photos taken with Canon 5D Mark iii and Nikon D90
Sigma 50 mm Art lens, Nikkor lens
Editing in Lightroom