Valborg, or Walpurgis night in English, is a festival that celebrates the coming of the spring. (Although it’s rarely warm in Sweden when people celebrate it on April 30. We all froze this year.)
In Sweden, people celebrate by setting large bonfires and singing songs. I asked a bunch of people what the holiday was for, and they all say it’s some sort of pagan thing, but they didn’t really know more than that.
In practice, people get together and party, especially teenagers.
For those of us with kids, we had a little pot-luck and then headed down to the local bonfire.
As a Jewish kid, I felt like an outsider during Christmas time. As an adult, I’ve finally decided to stop complaining and embrace Christmas
Every holiday season anti-Christmas thoughts pop into my head. I’ve realized they spring from a contempt I’ve had for Christmas since I was a kid, growing up as a Jew in a predominately Christian town in New Jersey.
I had a new anti-Christmas thought the other day while I was tightening the screws into the trunk of our Christmas tree. It went like this: Only a gentile would kill a tree, bring it home, watch it turn brown, and then throw it out on the curb.
It’s not true, of course, about gentiles and their trees. All religions have silly traditions. Jews and Muslims sacrifice their foreskins, for Christ’s sake. So in comparison, murdering a Christmas tree just for the fun of it seems harmless. Read More