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Nobel Week kicks off with feast and fancy

Nobel Week kicks off with feast and fancy

Published: 06 Dec 2009 09:47 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Dec 2009 09:47 GMT+01:00

Nobel Week is once again in full swing, with the 12 Nobel laureates and their respective entourages arriving in the Swedish capital over the weekend. The week’s festivities will culminate with the Nobel Ceremony and Banquet on Thursday.

As the laureates prepare to give their Nobel lectures at the beginning of the week, the event’s organizers are busy preparing the Stockholm Concert Hall (Konserthuset) and City Hall (Stadshuset).

Altogether, 37,000 flowers have been imported from San Remo, the Italian city where Alfred Nobel died on 10 December 1896, to decorate Nobel Week’s two main venues.

Konserthuset will be decked out in the colours of a wintery Swedish forest; the wall behind the stage will be decorated with about 14,000 flowers in various shades of green and white, which will be framed by Swedish fir.

The entire royal family will be in attendance. Princess Madeleine’s fiancée, Jonas Bergström, will also be there, while Crown Princess Victoria’s husband-to-be will remain at home recovering from an illness.

Neither Princess Lilian nor Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt will attend the ceremonies, with Reinfeldt in Brussels for the final meeting of European heads of state under the Swedish EU presidency.

Michael Solfman, who has been executive director of the Nobel Foundation for 17 years, expects the award ceremony to be especially distinguished this year.

“There will be another color than black and white on the podium, thanks to the ladies who are coming. It is an all time high that five of the 12 laureates in Stockholm are women, and that’s really exciting,” he told TT news agency.

“Like a fairy tale” is theme for the food, entertainment and flower arrangements for the Nobel Banquet at the Stockholm City Hall following the award ceremony. The menu, however, remains top secret until the 1,300 banquet guests have been seated.

The Nobel shopping list is enormous. According to the Nobel Foundation, one year the shopping list for the banquet consisted of 2,692 pigeon breasts, 475 lobster tails, 100 kilos of potatoes, 70 liters of sweet and sour raspberry vinegar sauce, 67 kilos of Jerusalem artichokes, 53 kilos of Philadelphia cheese, and 45 kilos of lightly smoked salmon, among other ingredients.

On the morning of the feast, more than 7,000 porcelain pieces, 5,000 glasses and 10,000 pieces of silverware must be set out on the 470 metres of linen adorning 65 tables. And while expectant guests anticipate their royal meal, it takes six minutes from the time the waiters begin the procession down the steps until everyone has been served. The king is served first, immediately followed by the queen.

There were 113 male guests in attendance at the first Nobel Banquet, held in 1901 in the Grand Hotel’s Hall of Mirrors.

TT/Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:28 December 6, 2009 by Iraniboy
I think after Shimon Perez and Obama got their Noble prize, Noble prize doesn't mean what it is supposed to.
16:12 December 6, 2009 by samuel1
It never was...
16:48 December 6, 2009 by peropaco
Iraniboy, Lest not forget the semen pouch Arafat. Maybe next year they will nominate the other goat lover, Mahmouda Ahmadinejad ;-)
17:07 December 6, 2009 by Englishman_In_Norpan
The prize has become a farcical event of backslapping between the well-to-do and the "nobel" born.

The "peace prize" decision this year takes the memory of winners such as Amnesty international (1977) and Martin Luther King Jnr (1964) and wipes them across the derriere of history.

Deplorable and insidious.
19:34 December 6, 2009 by lingonberrie
Yes, "Like a fairy tale," indeed, the largest fairy-tale of all is Obama who in 2009 received the peace prize even as he waged war in Afghanistan, and will continue to wage war there, and Pakistan, with ever escalating numbers of forces--of which Gates announced in the NYTs of 6 Dec 09 that only a token force will be drawn-down in 2011, and that major forces will be in place for another two to four years afterward, in other words: the Forever Wars that NYTs writer Dexter Filkins book is entitled.

So much for an exit date and of all forces out of Afghanistan, in July 2011, by the newest peace prize holder.
19:50 December 6, 2009 by calebian22
Hear Hear, peropaco!
20:04 December 6, 2009 by dtes
i dont think its cool to disgrace all these poor little helpless animals with peoples stupid slang, there is nothing wrong with loving goats, well unless you hump em like the rag heads and red necks sometimes do. its just like calling a copper a pig, pigs are nice animals, most cops are much worse than any animal could ever be. and speaking of animals, ...

i think these nobel prize giving folks should evolve and go vegan, there is nothing nobel about killing all those nice little animals so a bunch of parasites can dine on em, yes these people are the top folks, but ALL humans are parasites, EVEN THE BEST OF US!
20:53 December 6, 2009 by Iraniboy
@peropaco

I won't be surprised if he is selected for the Noble prize next year!!!

Btw, I am for Obama for Physics Noble prize 2010 :D
21:04 December 6, 2009 by uunbeliever
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the math Nobel prize for his calculation of no deficit in 2009!!!
22:16 December 6, 2009 by Dr. Dillner
I agree, Iraniboy. The Obamatron is a joke.
23:42 December 6, 2009 by Newtwill
You can add JC to your list of buffoons! The whole concept of Scandinavians deciding what is best epitomizes their arrogance. The capitalists in the world created an enviroment where social liberalism could thrive. Now that they have killed the goose the whole world will have to relearn the FACT the economics is paramount. Social generosity only exists when economics permits it. Reality will not be ingnored. Cold and Hunger will insist upon it.
02:40 December 7, 2009 by Typical Whitey
The Kenyan has no justifiable reason to receive the Peace Price. Mother Teresa was the last and best recipient. Earlier post is right - why would a terrorist like Arafat get it or the imposters like Gore and Carter? All politics.
03:16 December 7, 2009 by Davey-jo
So a bunch of Norwegians decide who is getting these prizes.

And then a bunch of Swedes has to hold hold a grand party for whoever Norway craps up. That is the Scandinavian way? NO!

I had the idea that Sweden was independent of Norway. So why can't they say no to Nobel?

I cannot understand why any country has anything to do with the Nobel Prize heap of cant and hypocrisy.
09:20 December 7, 2009 by livinginsweden
Nobel Prize is not awarded for some good deeds ..... but rather to expose the hypocrisy of most of the recipients ... I wonder how some of the winners could have the audacity to consider themselves in the same company as M Theresa.

Thick skin politicians.

ha ha
15:03 December 8, 2009 by Streja
Hmm the Peace prize is handed out in Oslo, not Stockholm. The peace prize winner does not go the dinner in Sweden. She/he attends the one in Oslo.

Foreigners....they don't know anything...

;)
00:46 December 11, 2009 by jon f
From Charles Prince of Edinburgh to Charles Robert Darwin to Charles Dickens BA and Bahumbug!!!! and to all the so Call Charchs in the World Bahumbug
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