‘And then there was light…’, after 2 months, 27 days, 1 hour and 21 minutes spring arrives back in Sweden. Like a bear coming out of hibernation; spring begins to yawn and stretch its light green shoots and buds. Patches of green emerge between the grit and snow, and the low hanging, grey clouds begin to lift. In resonance you might be feeling the emotional grey fugg beginning to lift. And, the patches of acceptance and contentment with your new life grow as the grisly discomfort of homesickness and culture-shock fades away, too. You are, literally, beginning to see the light.
As cliché as it sounds, Spring in Sweden really is about renewal. In a proverbial burning of the old and ushering in the new. The bonfire Valborg celebrations that take place all throughout Sweden. A chance to vårstädning (spring clean) your house or garden and then set everything on fire! Rock n Roll. Swede’s busy themselves by re-opening the vacation cottage and dusting off the garden tools. Or, re-starting that exercise routine and social calendar. In the cities, cafes and bars begin to open their outdoor seating and street life becomes a little less rushed and rugged.
The weather is still unpredictable, summer evenings in March and snow storms in May are not unheard of… and as soon as you get rid of that last piece of filthy grit from your front door, it snows, again. But, there is Påsk (Easter) and Sista April (last of April) celebrations to add a splash of colour.
When does spring start in Sweden?
In terms of the northern and southern hemisphere, spring starts in Sweden on the 20th or 21st March. But, with regards to the Swedish weather, that’s a whole different kettle of fish. The days have become longer and brighter with the sun higher in the sky, but there could still be a sharp chill in the air. Hats and gloves might still be required, but, hopefully, we can ditch the winter overalls in favour of lighter rain clothes and wellies. In the north of Sweden, there will still be snow on the ground well into May/June, but just the promise of longer, sunnier days is hope enough that summer is on it’s way.
Why is it still snowing in April?
Good question, climate change? I have no idea, but in my years of living in Sweden I have learnt to expect the unexpected, particularly in April. This is the month in which it can be 30 degrees and mild and then a week later, blizzards…