Sunday, November 27, 2005


One of the most eventful days of the year has come and gone: Shop window Sunday. In Swedish, it's called "skyltsöndag," as "skyltfönster" means "shop window" and "söndag" means "Sunday." (And "skyltfönstersöndag" is too long to say.) Today, all the shops fill their windows with Christmas decorations (as do people at home), so naturally everyone likes to go strolling through town and see it all. This has evolved into quite a festive day, when the town suddenly transforms into a market with all kinds of activities greeting the advent of Christmas. Because that's exactly what this day is; the beginning of Advent .

We started the day by going to the pet store, where they had a small cat exhibit. Of course I don't remember the names of the different cat races, but it was fun to see pure bred cats.

Next, we went to the town square. Funnily enough, one of the first things I noticed had little to do with skyltsöndag. Apparently, the hamburger kitchen that is frequently stationed on our square had a new paintjob.

I like the pixelated trees.

However, there were lots of things much more Christmas related. For example, children waited in line to talk to Santa Claus. He was on his way through town and had camped out on our square with Mrs Claus. The kids must have been very patient, because the line was long, as you can see in the first photo in this post.

Good thing he has a back entrance, in case he needs to get away from all those kids, and it's also a perfect way for me to take a few pictures.

Other activities not depicted here involved buying stuff to support a plethora of causes with different degrees of selfishness (from school trips to animal shelters). I'm guessing the following was one of those money scrounging activities, but it looked fun.

Apparently, they take children for rides in that military vehicle. I saw it driving around later, filled with children who were no doubt having the time of their life.

The highlight of the day was probably the troupe of santas who suddenly came marching across the town square. At first I just planned on keeping up with them for a while, trying to get a few good photos, but then I overheard someone say where they were headed. It sounded ridiculous, so I had to follow them. First note that it was a cold day; my poor fingers were freezing just from taking off my glove to snap these photos. Now watch the weirdos.

Yes, it's clearly on purpose and of their own volition. They're wearing wet suits under their costumes, so I'm guessing it's not as cold as it looks. I don't know why they're doing it though; it's not as if they ever asked for my money. Maybe as a publicity stunt, but since I have no idea who they are it feels kinda like they failed. On the other hand, they hadn't quite got started yet when I had to go. I wanted to hear the Christmas carolers.

This is actually three different choirs. They took turns singing Christmas carols, which made me half expect them to throw down and start a sing-off, heckling the other choirs while they sang. I was a bit disappointed when they applauded each other instead.

After their joint performance, the three choirs split up and went charoling around town. I bumped into one of them repeatedly riding escalators up and down, singing Jingle bells. Quite amusing, especially when hapless escalator passengers were caught up in the middle of the choir.

To round off this post, here's a crowd photo and a couple of shop windows. I almost went the whole skyltsöndag without taking a single shop window photo. Duh.

No comments: