Valborg i Uppsala
We spent the last few days in Uppsala, hosted once again by our lovely friend, who also hosted us two years ago in London.
When booking our trip, she advised us to visit during Valborg, the celebration of spring. Uppsala is pretty much the capital of Valborg and they have a whole range of festivities going on around it. So we did come during that time, to experience some local culture. On the day of Valborg, we first went to see the "Forsränningen", a boat race of boats made from wood and styrofoam by the students that then race the down the river. Since it was fairly cold and windy I would not have wanted to be one of the people in the actual boats...
Later there is a public address at the Carolina Rediviva. Traditionally there the students swapped the black winter hats to the white summer hats, but is nowadays it is more a shaking of the white hats.
In between the festivities, people meet at Ekonomikumparken, just to sit around, drink and picnic. It got warmer and quite sunny in the afternoon, so we joined the crowd and spent some time in the park. The feeling of the whole thing there was very comparable to a festival. Complete with a lot of trash.
At night there was a big bonfire at "Gamla Uppsala" that we went to see. Gamla Uppsala is where the town used be located in old times, today there are only several huge burial mounds. Those made for a great backdrop for the bonfire and the fireworks to welcome spring. I think this was actually my favorite part of Valborg.