October 27, 2016

All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day and Halloween- 2016

In past years they lit up the Globe arena as a jack 'o lantern. http://instagram.com/globearenas
Whether you celebrate the more commercial Halloween or the more spiritual All Saints' Day, this is a special holiday weekend coming up (Oct 31st and Nov 4th to 6th)!  Halloween does, of course, have its roots in the traditional All Hallows' Eve celebration... but the Americanized Halloween holiday has become more and more popular here in Sweden over the past 10-15 years. On the days surrounding the 31st, don't be surprised to see children and young adults dressed in costumes on the streets of Stockholm. But if you really want to party like a ghoul then you shouldn't miss the Shockholm festival, especially their parade (which is the largest Halloween parade in Scandinavia). The parade takes place on Saturday, November 5th, starting at 5pm from Kungsträdgården park, directly after a pre-parade party (3pm-5pm) with costume contests and other activities. The parade route will go around the old town (Gamla Stan) before returning back to Kungsträdgården for the costume prize ceremony.
Skogskyrkogården, photo by
(c) Susanne Hallmann, Kyrkogårdsförvaltningen Stockholms stad

For a more spiritual celebration of the holiday, head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Skogskyrkogården. This is the beautiful Woodland Cemetery, designed by architect Gunnar Asplund and located in the southern suburbs of the city. This site is a great place to visit year-round, but it is especially beautiful (and significant) on this weekend when thousands of people come to the cemetery to leave decorations and candles at the graves of relatives. There will be staff on hand on All Saints' Day (Nov 5th) to help with maps and grave searches and there will be music in several of the chapels. To get to Skogskyrkogården from the downtown area, take the subway (green line) in the direction of Farsta Strand. Exit at the station Skogskyrkogården. Just 7 stops from the Slussen station which is near the Rival Hotel.

All Saints' Day. Photo: Cecilia Larsson/imagebank.sweden.se
On Sunday, November 6th, there will be a torch walk along the lake Brunnsviken located in Haga park. Start at 4pm and there is a program with music as well. And finally, to really get in to the mood... why not partake in a Ghost Walk sightseeing tour of Gamla Stan. This is the old medieval center of the city where many bloody events have taken place throughout the city's history (like the infamous Stockholm Bloodbath!). The guides on these walks really make this history come alive...

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