God allehelgensaften! Happy All Hallow's Eve!

Tove Jansson: Moomin-mamma cooking

All Saints Day in Sweden

All Saints Day in Röke, Sweden
Photo by David Castor

At Skogskyrkogården cemetery in the night 
 Photo by  Holger Motzkau 

At Skogskyrkogården cemetery in the night 
 Photo by  Holger Motzkau 

Holy cross at Skogskyrkogården cemetery in the night 
Photo by BloodIce

From Finnish Kekri till Christmas

Pekka Ruotsalainen dressed for Köyritär
by Ahti Rytkönen, 1927

In an agricultural society, the end of the year came naturally 
at the end of the harvest. The Finnish New Year celebration in the autumn 
was known as kekri (or köyri, keyri). Originally, the jubilation was not settled 
on a particular day. It depended on the yearly weather conditions and the 
 progress of work, and it could vary from late summer to late autumn. 
Kekri was the equivalent of yuletide and the New Year. 
Most of our Christmas and New Year traditions derive from the celebration
 of Kekri. As Christmas grew more important, the secular Kekri became less popular. 
A typical Kekri involved massive feasting and drinking. People remembered their 
dead by offering them food. One popular Kekri tradition was to dress up as a 
 female kekritär or as a kekri buck with horns, knock on people’s doors and 
ask for food and drink. The connection of Kekri and All Saints’ Day was
 established in the 19th century. Since 1955, Finland has celebrated 
All Saints’ Day on the first Saturday in November
Please, go here and read more:
 Pekka Ruotsalainen dressed for Köyritärby 
by Ahti Rytkönen, 1927

They are here: the Finnish Christmas stamps 2014

 designed by Kristina Segercrantz


Norrbotten in Sweden

Autumn, Norrbotten 

Norrbotten (North Bothnia) is a Swedish province (landskap)
 in northernmost Sweden. It borders south to Västerbotten
west to Swedish Lapland, and east to Finland

Red barn, photo by Mestos

Saami Settlement in Jokkmokk, Norrbotten, Sweden. 
An engraving by Fredrik Erik Martin, made after original
 by Pehr Hilleström. From ca. 1800

During the Middle Ages Norrbotten was basically terra nullius
The area was sparsely populated by Saami people, who
 lived on hunting, fishing and reindeer herding

 Saami goahtes near the Sitojaure tourist cottages. 
Norrbotten County (northern Lapland 
Photo by

 From Narken, Norbotten
Photo by Mestos

 From the Middle Ages and forward, the Swedish kings tried 
hard to colonise and Christianize the area. Settlers from Finland, the most 
 important of which were known as Birkarls, controlled the trade and 
even the taxing on the area long into the 16th century 

Nederluleå stone church photo 
by Lars Falkdalen Lindahl

From the mid 16th century, the area was more firmly tied to Sweden. 
An important sign of Swedish control was the large Nederluleå stone church 
from 1492. Still today, Finnish and Sami minorities live in Norrbotten 
and they have kept their culture and language

Photo by oddhelge

Languages spoken in the province include Swedish 
 (including North Swedish regiolects), Meänkieli, Finnish, and Saami
Some Meänkieli speakers have gradually been considering themselves
 part of the Kven people, which supposedly arrived to the area 
much earlier than the Swedish settlers

 Norrbotten photo by Silje Bergum Kinsten


Tornedalians in Kurravare, Northern Sweden, 1926. 

The Tornedalians are descendants of Scandinavian and Fennoscandian 
Finnic Kvens as well as Finns who at some point in history settled to the 
area of today's Northern Sweden and the Torne Valley region near the 
present-day Swedish-Finnish border and west from there

Vinter in Torne Valley

According to Jouko Vahtola, many of the ancestors of today's 
Tornedalians migrated from Southern Finland, mainly from Häme and Karelia
The settlement began around the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia and along the river 
valleys of the River Kalix (Kainuunväylä in Finnish), Torne River, and Kemijoki River
The migration started at the latest in the beginning of the 14th century CE on areas 
loosely controlled by Kvens and Karelians, The taxation of the Saami people
fur trade and large hunting grounds were among the most important factors 
contributing to the migration of the Tornedealians up north. 
Tornedalians also helped the Swedish expansion to the 
areas that  today are part of northern Sweden

Flag of the Tornedalians

Sweden does not distinguish minority groups in population censuses
but the number of people who identify themselves as Tornedalians 
today is usually estimated to be between 30,000 and 150,000

Yggdrasil ring

 This is Vladimir's design: The Yggdrasil ring.

In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is the World Tree, a great ash tree 
located at the center of the universe and joining the Nine Worlds of Norse 
 cosmology. The trunk of the tree may be thought of as forming a vertical axis 
around which these worlds are situated, with Ásgard, realm of the gods,
 at the top and the Hel, located in Niflheim, at the bottom. Midgard, 
or Middle-Earth (the world of mortals), is located in the middle 
and surrounded by Jötunheim, land of giants, both 
of which are separated by the ocean

Purchase the Yggdrasil ring here;


In Norse mythology, 'Fimbulvetr' (or 'fimbulvinter'), commonly 
rendered in English as 'Fimbulwinter', is the immediate prelude to 
the events of Ragnarök. It simply means 'Mighty Winter'. In 
the term fimbulvinter is still used to refer to
 an unusually cold and harsh winter

Awaiting The Fimbulwinter by fotoforge

The Northern wind brings snow and ice
Humans starve and freeze
The Fimbulwinter has arrived
And soon the world will cease to be...

Fimbulvetr is the harsh winter that precedes the end of the world
 and puts an end to all life on Earth. Fimbulwinter is three successive 
winters where snow comes in from all directions, without any intervening 
summer. During this time, there will be innumerable wars and ties of 
 blood will no longer be respected: the next-of-kin will lie 
together and brothers will kill brothers


Alvar Cawén (1886-1935)

Studio Interior, 1923

At the Window

Old Woman

Norður Salt from Iceland

Norður Salt is a the flaky gourmet sea salt made with 
sustainable geothermal methods starting in 1753, is produced 
in the Breiðafjörður bay in Iceland.  With its extensive algal forests, 
seaweed and extreme biodiversity, Breiðafjörður is often referred 
to as the underwater rainforest of the North. The fjörd's 
clear and clean seawater has been an important source 
of food for the Icelanders through 
the ages.

 Go visit Norður Salt's website here

The savory and mystical Arctic Sea water is pumped into 
open pans where it is slowly heated with water from natural hot springs. 
This sustainable process leaves behind no carbon dioxide - only 
fresh, crunchy flakes of Norður Sea Salt 

Faroese sheep dog and sheep

A sheep dog helps round up sheep near the village of Saksun 
on Streymoy, the Faroe Islands. Photo: Reuters/Bob Strong

Hans Pauli Hansen (1866-) catching birds

Hans Pauli Hansen (1866-) catching pufffins
on the island Mykines, the Faroe Islands, 1934
Photos by Alwin Pedersen

Ceramic by Swedish Gunnel Skugghall

 I came to think of the first snow
when I saw this beautiful teapot and mug
by the Swedish ceramist Gunnel Skugghall

Please, go here for contact info:


'Rest', 1905

'Hvile' - 'Rest', 1905
by Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916)

Knitted felted purse with wreath embroidery

Handmade unique purse mad in Finland - it is grey with brown 
embroidery and red faux-pearls. The bag was first knitted (no seams) 
and then fulled (=felted) in washing machine. On the inside there is a red lining 
that matches the red in the fpearls. The lining also has a small pocket 
for phone, keys etc. Everything is made by hand

Purchase it here:

'Scandinavian Baking - Loving Baking at Home'

 'Scandinavian Baking - Loving Baking at Home'
 by Danish Trine Hahnemann
 Here are authentic Scandinavian recipes with a modern twist, shot on 
 location in Scandinavia. The book is suffused with 'hygge', a Danish word 
that has no English equivalent but means cosiness, or relaxing 
with friends over good food and drink

Purchase the boook here: Amazon or Natmus

 Here Trine Hahnemann presents 100 authentic, triple-tested Scandinavian 
recipes with a modern twist, shot on location in Scandinavia. Scandinavian crispbreads 
abound, as do savoury tarts and recipes for smørrebrød and different toppings to 
be eaten at a social lunch known as a smørgåsbord/smørebrødsbord

 In the book, Trine teaches us how we can fit the making of bread into our busy lives, 
without compromising on quality. And then there’s the sweet baking… a recipe for each 
kind of Danish pastry you could ever wish for, a cookie for every occasion, and mouth-watering 
layer cakes, coffee cakes and cream buns. Both Midsummer and Christmas festivities are 
built around the making of cakes, cookies and breads of all sorts, and the baking 
celebrations of both seasons are included in the book

Throughout the book, Trine Hahnemann writes about the baking 
world in Scandinavia: the tradition of the ‘cake table’ party; how spices 
came to the frozen north; or how using older strains of grain will boost 
the nutritional worth of your daily bread

Matti Pikkujämsä

Matti Pikkujämsä has graduated from the University of Art and Design Helsinki. 
Matti's illustrations reflect the classics of Scandinavian design whilst still taking 
a fresh, distinguishable approach. His humorous designs often have a nostalgic 
feel, stemming thoughts of childhood, Finnish countryside and nature. He 
combines both drawing and painting techniques to create 
pieces with unique, warm atmosphere

I found the artworks on Matti Pikkujämsä's Pinterest