the week that was sweden’s celebration of spring // 17

hello! and happy may day! so, this week has been exciting and fun. and i have a ton of stuff to share with you!

first off… the weather has been all over the place. sunshine, rain, snow, wind, cold, and warm sunshine (not warm temps, though). very typical  april weather. but, we have now turned the corner.

in sweden, we literally end the crappy, unexpected, undependable weather of april and enter spring… because in may, the weather suddenly becomes incredible and beautiful. true story.  and we celebrate all of that like crazy people.

the swedish spring season celebration started way back in the day with pagan nordic rituals and ceremonies, very similar to those you find in celtic + scottish pagan history. it’s all about acknowledging that the fertile, growing season has begun. longer days have arrived (and they just get even longer for the next 2 months), the sun has returned, and everything feels alive.

so, it’s only natural to celebrate mother nature with songs, drinks, traditions, and bonfires. and, of course, to be outside as much as freaking possible. re-grounding ourselves with mother nature. reconnecting + feeling that magical vibe of everything being alive and bearing fruit. it is a time of celebrating life.

in sweden, this big natural, pagan, traditional celebration is celebrated on the last day of april, known as “sista april“, or valborg. you never quite know how the weather is going to be, so it’s always a crazy amazing gift when it’s not raining (or snowing!) and the sun shines. people literally go around refreshing their weather apps the entire week before, wondering if we will actually be able to celebrate the true coming of spring outside, or if the festivities are contained to indoor parties.

before i share with you my photos from our valborg celebration yesterday, though, i thought i’d give you a little run through the rest of the week as well. i mean, my cousin has been here!! so, we’ve done tons of other fun stuff too. like i said, it’s been a great celebration for me all week long!

so, here we go!

a little pre-valborg, getting in the mood bbq at a friends house last sunday evening. we’re all just desperate + itching for warm weather + summer activities to arrive. so, we took it upon ourselves to start now! YOLO, right?

bbq spring

bbq halloumi friends

monday. workday. my commute. it was a long week, adding in that i now work on mondays too. but, it was a good week. super intense and i have been super tired. but, nonetheless, it’s been really good.

work commute uppsala train station

a bit of sunshine on monday as well. then, the bottom dropped out. snow on tuesday + wednesday. rain and wind on thursday. it was miserable, weather-wise. but, that didn’t stop the fun!

blue skies

i had some creative juices flowing early in the week, and put them to use in my bedroom. then, i took advantage of our backyard sunset, just wandering and soaking up the night air. have i said how much i love our apartment?!

home create

night home backyard

beer me backyard

on tuesday, we booked our tickets to the states for the summer!!! we will be there from mid-july – mid-august! mostly in north carolina, i believe. we absolutely cannot wait. and, i am, once again, unbelievably grateful for living in sweden, where i have 5 weeks of paid vacation making this all possible!! passports travel

magical, magical sunsetssunset uppsala home

on wednesday, i only worked a half a day – and then we picked up my cousin at the airport!!airport tree minimalism

cousin family me lina kat

we headed straight into stockholm and to a funky burger place for some lunch. then, it was all about some sightseeing, fika-ing (coffee breaks), and a visit to our favorite brewery in the city. of course, we had to walk through the garden area where the famous cherry blossoms were still blooming. lucky us!

we totally hit all of the highlights: östermalm (the ritzy neighborhood by the harbor). old town (the historical, beautiful, tiny alley, cobblestone island in the middle of the city) and södermalm (the funky greenwich village area of stockholm). stockholm truly has a little of of everything – something for everyone!


prime burger food stockholm

spring cherry blossoms tree

cousin family me lina kat

gamla stan // old town

stockholm old town


cousin family me lina kat

cousin family me lina kat omnipollo beer

cousin family me lina kat omnipollo beer

stockholm old town

back at work for thursday + friday for me. but, lina took great care of my cousin, kat, and they did the touristy stuff in uppsala.

me work coffee

friday afternoon finally came + the girls met me up at work so kat could see a bit of a swedish high school. then it was out for a traditional, delicious swedish fika. we visited a new brewpub in town too, and then headed home for an early night to prepare for the big valborg (spring!!) celebration on saturday.

coffee fika

V A L B O R G !!!!

the sun rose at 4:30/5, (yes, i happened to wake up then) and the sky was cloudless. a super good sign for the day. by 9am we were out the door and on our way for a champagne breakfast at my brother-in-law’s apartment.

sunrise home morning

cousin family me lina kat valborg

we hung out there eating bagels, pizza, chips, veggies, and drinking champagne all morning long. the sun was still shining around midday, so we all headed out to the park by the castle for a traditional concert, spring speech by the university president, and the donning of the graduation hats.

these traditions have been going on for hundreds of years, so it’s a really big deal actually. and yesterday, since the weather was so awesome, it was a record crown of over 100,000 people wandering the city. celebrating spring and enjoying life. an incredible, amazing, fun lina champagne valborg

uppsala valborg spring

uppsala valborg spring

uppsala valborg spring

uppsala valborg spring friends

uppsala valborg spring picnic

uppsala valborg spring

uppsala valborg spring

uppsala valborg spring

uppsala valborg spring

uppsala valborg spring

uppsala valborg spring cathedral river

uppsala valborg spring

uppsala valborg spring

after wandering, drinking, sitting, and having a few typical reynolds shenanigans (climbing a wrought iron fence to go to the bathroom at the hospital, to name one), we ducked into a favorite pub to get some nourishment and rest our weary, party bones.

after filling our bellies, we decided to actually head home. we could keep the party going there, or not, if we wanted too.

while many people headed out to different places outside of the city for the traditional bonfire, we all collapsed at home at about 8:00. i woke up around 9, and decided that it was time for me to make my own little “bonfire”. it wasn’t a bonfire at all, but i lit candles, gazed out my bedroom window, and lifted up a little prayer to the heavens and the earth in gratitude of the long days, the late sunsets, and the season of life which is now upon us.

after watching the flame a while + celebrating mother nature, i blew out the candles and snuggled down under the covers, passing out directly into a cozy, deep sleep. totally satisfied and so very grateful for the week that has passed.

uppsala valborg spring bonfire

i woke this morning fairly early. made a pot of coffee. and settled in for a day of nothingness. so far, i’ve been blogging, lina’s been cleaning + organizing, and kat’s been working on some applications and letters.

somehow, without planning anything, in the middle of the morning my love and i booked a spontaneous weekend trip to paris in june! cause, you know, YOLO.

and now, it’s just relaxing and recovering on tap for the rest of the day.

so, how was your weekend? your week? wishing you the very best and a cozy end to your weekend.

xoxo. liz.

4 thoughts on “the week that was sweden’s celebration of spring // 17

  1. Wow, wow, wow!! What a fun, full, love-filled and great week you’ve had! The first picture of the cherry blossoms is so gorgeous, I wanna print it out and frame it (I might just do that).
    And your ability to enjoy the hell out of every day is such an inspiration! That’s the best way to live life.

    1. Do it!! So glad you love that photo! Yes… I really do my best to try to squeeze out every little thing out of every day. I think you’re pretty damn good at it too, doll. xoxo

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