T o the man I called Dad, sometimes enemy, sometimes friend Good Bye. Our relationship was complex, sometime angry and hateful, sometime loving and beautiful. There was nothing simple about it. This new journey you are on, may it be filled with peace, joy and grace. [Bradley Keith Fell – my father – passed away shortly before 9:30 p.m. in Idaho Falls Idaho.]
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.