Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Today is Valborg Afton - Walpurgis Eve - when all of Sweden is outside lighting bonfires in the street to welcome the Spring. Supposedly, the festival of St. Walpurgis or Walburga was also the time for a traditional witches' sabbath, so people lit bonfires to keep away the witches.

Unfortunately, I feel like the witches have already had their way with me - I'm sick with a cold and a fever while the husband, that lucky dog, is out having dinner with A. the former model and aspiring producer and her boyfriend, C., the fashion photographer. They've probably lit their own bonfire somewhere up in Vasastan, in the northern part of the city.

Fortunately, tomorrow is a holiday not just for St. Walburga - it's the first of May. Which is when most of the world celebrates labor day - International Workers' Day. But there are vague communist overtones to the first of May, and so of course the United States has to have its own separate labor day to avoid any appearance of looking even the least little bit pink. It sounds so old-fashioned now.

The Swedish word for the day is vänsterpartiet. This - the Left Party - is the current name for what used to be called the communist party in Sweden.

- by Francis S.

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