All souls night in Scandinavia

All over Lutheran Sweden tonight, many families will be following an old tradition and will visit the graves of close relatives to place a lighted candle there. It’s no longer celebrated in Denmark, when since 1686, all the old holy day’s were almalgamated into the Stor Bilde Dag, or the great prayer day. However the celebration of Santa Lucia on December 13th (Candlemas) is a largely secular hangover from an extremely distant Catholic past.

Adds: This Candlemas (lit. the Candle Mass) celebration was originally known in Denmark as Kyndelmeisse, and was celebrated on 2nd Feburary, about the time of the celtic festival of Imbolc (one of the four major festivals, the others being Bealtaine, Lunasa and Samhain).

  • maca

    Same in Finland, although it’s done at christams. I can’t remember what date exactly, I only remember freezing the balls off myself is -24 degrees.

  • An Bearnach

    Correction: The Danes amalgamated their holy days into Stor Bededag. One of the quirks of the language means that for those of us who have tried to survive in Denmark on a small dictionary, we were rather puzzled at first by “Great Beetroot Day”

  • Mick Fealty

    Tak for dette. My note taking leaves a lot to be desired. I hear though that the all souls tradition is sneaking back in from Sweden. Have you heard. I’m currently in Skive, heading for Esbjerg tomorrow.

  • maca

    “I’m currently in Skive, heading for Esbjerg tomorrow.”

    I hope you’re not Skiving off Mick … oh forget it!

  • Mick Fealty

    Heard that one before Maca. Back in harness on Monday!