Last Thursday the Sweden’s King came to Kristiandstad to celebrate the city’s 400th birthday. In the early afternoon there was a parade with the King from the museum to the main city park. many people had come just to see the King in person. As the king got closer I was taking pictures and realized that I had yet to see the king, up to that point I had only seen him though the lens of my camera. I put my camera down and then began to have a more meaningful experience.
After the parade ended the king moved to the gardens in the park to plant a tree. The crowd naturally followed to watch. I managed to arrive before the majority of the people and secured a good spot to watch the proceedings. The crowd turned out to be more interesting to watch. The crowd clamored to catch a glimpse of the King. A large portion of them had there eyes glued to cameras or video recorders. There was one woman in particular who never once removed her eyes from her cell phone camera as she pushed her way through the crowd in an attempt to capture the best possible picture.
Pondering over this experience gave me some better insight. In my life going forward I want to be more present in my experiences, to experience more ,photograph less and be more mindful of the photos I do take. I want my blog to be more about what I write. I started it mainly out of my love of writing. Over time it has move more towards pictures and has involved less writing. Now I am refocusing my attention more on writing with less reliance upon pictures.
In the end I do not want my life experienced only through the lens of a camera.
This festival takes place on the evening of April 30th. It is a celebration to welcome in Spring. Doing research on this specific festival I have found a lot of information some of it contradictory. It appears some form of celebration has been going on in Sweden going back to pagan times. The current celebration of lighting bonfires came about in the early 1900’s or late 1800’s. Each area of Sweden has their own slight variation on this celebration.
We went out to the village of Gärds Kopinge. Everyone who wanted to carry a torch to light the bonfire met at the elementary school. After all the torches were lite we walked from the school to a park next to the river where there was a large pile of tree branch trimmings and old Christmas trees. We circled around the pile and threw our torches onto the fire. We then stood around watched the fire burn. In some places I understand there is also singing and sometimes dancing. Here people just stood in groups socializing and watching the bonfire. Afterwords we had a nice dinner to complete the celebration.
Earlier in the afternoon Van and I were married a the Kristianstad rådhuset. This day was for us is now more than just valborgsmässoafton. It was our wedding day. I feel that a big bonfire is an appropriate way to celebrate our anniversary every year.