Since we are at the start of a brand new year, this week’s theme will be about the new year celebration!
As opposed to many other countries, the use of fireworks is almost exclusively associated with New Year’s Eve in Scandinavia. The use by private persons is also very restricted, and sale to persons under the age of 18 is prohibited. In Denmark, the use is only allowed from December 1st to January 5th, and are only sold during this period. In downtown Oslo, private use is banned altogether to avoid serious injuries. In 2009, the sale of “rocket” type fireworks were banned, with more secure “battery” types presented as a safer and better alternative for consumers. These rules are all set to ensure the safe use of fireworks, as the Nordic peoples are very much fond of welcoming the new year with a great bang! The sales of fireworks in Norway was recently reported at an all time high by Norwegian E24.
The Finnish have a unique New Year’s tradition involving fortune telling. These metal horseshoes (made out of tin and lead) are melted in a pot, and then poured into a bucked full of cold water. The resulting shape of the metal is then interpreted based on its shape. For example, if the piece of metal resembles a boat, this means you will travel abroad during the coming year.
The days around New Year’s Eve is also a popular time to go on a vacation trip to the mountain cabins in Norway. After the stressful period around Christmas with a lot of preparations, many retire to the wilderness to enjoy the quite life and embrace the wonderful nature during wintertime. The days are short, so one gets up late and returns back early, spending the daytime as much outdoors as possible – skiing, hiking or simply just playing in the snow.
That is all for this time, next week’s theme will be “Smile”.