So a little over a week ago was the Swedish “Halloween” and I have to say it was much different. Not only was it not in October like it is in The States but it was also not a commercial holiday otherwise known for spending your money on candy and costumes.
I am not quite sure what it was actually called but I do know that calling it Halloween by an American standard is really not the best name for it. I have to say it was much more of what I was once told that Halloween once was, a day for the deceased.
After I got off work I met Nadja in the city and we took a train to Skogskyrkogården. For the lack of a better translation I’m going to say it means, Woodland Cemetery. I must first say that Skoskyrkogården is an amazing place to be. Durning the day you can be taken away by the beautiful scenery and at night the enormous trees seem to shelter you away from the surrounding area leaving only the nights stars and moon to guide you; that is unless you are there durning their day for the dead. During this night we were far from alone and since we often walk through it (because it is so close to home) was a much different sight to what I am use to. Hundreds of people come from all different parts of Stockholm to honor the deceased, or their lost friends and family members. You do not need to have a familiar grave to go here because there is also a dedicated area without graves for people to go if their lost loved one is in a different cemetery or was cremated.
This is the area that we went and I was completely blown away by both the number of people walking around and that the number of candles lit seemed to match the number of stars on a clear nights sky; it was amazing. It was a moving scene and I wish I had more than just my cellphone to take pictures because while walking on the rolling hills you could see the waves of candles in the distance which seemed endless.
It was something that I won’t forget and even though growing up in America meant dressing up in various costumes and free candy this different way to celebrate the holiday was a welcome and noticeable difference.