All of a sudden something has changed. You’re scratching your head as best as you can, still it’s hard to figure out what is happening. Keep reading and we’ll let you in on what exactly is going on here.
The phenomenon you are experiencing is called Swedish spring. You can tell when it hits you by paying attention to some of these unmistakable signs…
The snow is gone. Oh, wait a minute, it’s not. Actually yes it is. Or is it? How’s that for never-ending story?
Kosläpp. After a long winter inside the barn, it’s finally time for the cows to be released into the enclosed pasture. Traditionally, many come to witness this joyful, dung-smelling event. If you want to be a part of it, just google ‘Kosläpp’. You may have to announce your visit in advance.
People. All of a sudden you can actually see people in the street again. Most Swedes hibernate during the winter; in case you didn’t know.
Love is in the air. Can you feel it? More people getting out into the sun, hanging about in pubs and restaurants and spending time together, this means that your chance of finding love could be at its peak. If you’re single and looking, you should make the most of it.
Open-air restaurants. ‘Getting around’ downtown isn’t that easy anymore since all those tent-like structures invaded. Swedes handle the problem indulgently by putting on a smile and ordering something slightly red from the barman.
You’re in a good mood. As the sun stays up a little longer each day, hormone secretion and regulation of the biological clock is affected. This puts people in a better mood. As much as the winter darkness may affect your personality, the spring light guarantees some great days of long-awaited self-recognition. Also, more light hitting your skin leads to increased production of vitamin D, with beneficial effects on your immune system.
The gravel is history. Did you notice how all of a sudden the streets look really clean and spotless? That’s because some 8000 metric tons of gravel just got picked up by the local authority. Don’t worry, you’ll be seeing it again in November.
Flowers everywhere. Undeniably, there’s something special with the first wild flowers breaking through the frost-bitten soil and spreading its petals at the sun. The yellow coltsfoot is usually the first one to enter the stage, closely followed by the blue anemone and the wood anemone. When the school year is almost at its end, forests are overrun by lilies of the valley. The scent is unforgettable.
The birds are back. At last, jackdaws and magpies are accompanied by all their homecoming peers. Take out your binoculars and go spot a demoiselle crane.
Runny nose and red eyes? If you don’t have a cold then it’s probably the pollen. It’s often impossible to tell the difference. Remedies with varying effects are available without prescription at your nearest pharmacy.
The smell of barbecue. Although some out-and-out enthusiasts keep the charcoal smoldering for most of the year, the arrival of the spring is when the barbecuing really takes off. In some neighborhoods it is referred to as ‘Lützendimma’ (Lützen fog).
Public bonfires. For Swedes, 30th of April means gathering around public bonfires, celebrating the arrival of spring while freezing and having the eardrums ruptured by firecrackers. It’s tradition.