• Sweden edition
 
'Mini Stockholm' invades English Christmas city

'Mini Stockholm' invades English Christmas city

Published: 05 Dec 2012 15:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 05 Dec 2012 15:00 GMT+01:00

A bit of seasonal tedium spurred on Swedish-born Lars Forsberg to come up with the idea.

“In England, Christmas markets now look the same everywhere. It’s become very generic and everything is made in China,” he told The Local.

“So I thought, why not set up a Swedish Christmas market?”

As a long-term resident of Lincoln, where the traditional Christmas market attracts as many as 150,000 visitors every year, Forsberg was keen to involve the local community.

An architecture student from Lincoln University was drafted in to design the red stalls with white gables.

In the nearby grotto, drama students will play Father Christmas and his wife.

"Father Christmas will have to say 'God Jul' in Swedish, then explain to the children that he visits Sweden one day earlier than England," Forsberg said.

"Because he has to spread out the work load over a few days."

The family-focused idea has attracted several business partners.

The Swedish Shop in London jumped on the idea and is shipping everything from crisp bread and blueberry soup to cinnamon buns and Swedish mulled wine (glögg) the 200 odd kilometres up to Lincoln.

There, food will be sold alongside traditional Swedish handicrafts by staff all decked out in yellow jackets and blue aprons.

“We’ll be selling the classic snowball lantern in glass from Kosta Boda,” Forsberg was keen to emphasize.

“Also, all the toys are made of wood, because we wanted to get away from the plastic knick-knacks sold at the usual markets.”

Apart from betting on market-goers’ taste for novelty, what makes Forsberg and his team think the Swedish Christmas market will take off?

"To be honest it’s the rise in interest in Sweden, and Scandinavia in general,” said Forsberg’s business partner Mathew Clarke.

“Look at how Ikea has grown since it's entered the UK. And the BBC has started showing adaptations of Swedish series. Wallander was quite a success.”

For Clarke, the allure of Swedish seasonal traditions is not exclusive to Christmas – he is quite fond of Saint Lucia.

“I like the celebration of light when I know you in Sweden have very long nights where it gets a bit dark and dreary,” he said.

"So the Saint Lucia festival and all the lights in everyone’s windows to warm up the place is quite appealing.”

As the cottages are erected and Father and Mrs. Christmas slip into their red costumes, Forsberg and Clarke already have their eyes set on the future.

A large British insurance company has thrown its weight behind launching the concept all over England next year.

“Hopefully this will grow quickly. You’ll find an authentic Swedish Christmas market in many English towns by next year,” Forsberg told The Local.

But there are no plans to rest from one December to the next. They plan to introduce the Brits to Swedish midsummer too.

Its success, they believe, hinges on Britain no longer having any proper celebrations during summer.

“We have Mayday but nothing's really done for it. It’s just another day, or at most maybe a handful of people celebrating at a village fête,” Clarke told the Local.

“Nothing in the same vein as Sweden."

Ann Törnkvist

Follow Ann on Twitter here

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

21:08 December 5, 2012 by dizzymoe33
I went to a local shop in my hometown last year that sells items made in Sweden and Norway and so I bought a electric candle for my window. I got home and on the back of the box where it had originally said "Made in Sweden" there was a sticker that now read "Made in China" !!! I couldn't believe it. I was so disappointed.

This sounds like a great idea and a lot of fun.
15:33 December 15, 2012 by quincyg
we could do with that in Liverpool next Jul. We had a one day julmarknad

at the kyrka, but the city Xmas market has barely nothing remotely Scandi.
Today's headlines
Elections 2014
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'

With national elections around the corner, political scientist Stig-Björn Ljunggren says there's a hive of activity behind the scenes, and that the right-wing nationalist party could end up being the key player. READ  

Swedish artist jailed for 'race hate' pictures
Police arrested Dan Park (pictured) and confiscated his art works at an exhibition opening on July 5th. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Swedish artist jailed for 'race hate' pictures

A Malmö court has sentenced Swedish street artist Dan Park to six months in jail for incitement to racial agitation and defamation. READ  

Sweden Floods
Flooding closes roads in central Sweden
Photo: TT

Flooding closes roads in central Sweden

UPDATED: Sections of the highway in Värmland have been closed off due to flooding, and several trains are standing still. Authorities say the situation will get worse before it gets better. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Casting a vote. Photo: Shutterstock

Sweden elections: How do they work?

National, regional, and local elections are taking place in Sweden on September 14th. Whether you're a first-time voter or a fresh armchair observer, The Local's beginners' guide will answer the key questions you were too afraid to ask. READ  

Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
A Romani language class in Malmö. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination

The Swedish government has asked a new commission to create school materials based on a white paper documenting Swedish discrimination of Roma. READ  

Day-care rapist
Day-care rape suspect 'was mentally ill'
Photo: TT

Day-care rape suspect 'was mentally ill'

Social services have ruled that a day-care intern charged with molesting 14 children in southern Sweden was "seriously mentally disturbed". READ  

What's On in Sweden

What's On in Sweden

Autumn has arrived in Sweden, which means grey skies are approaching. But summer goes out with a skip, hop, and a bang - the annual Color Run is taking place in Stockholm this weekend. READ  

Surströmmingspremiär
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season

On the third Thursday of each August, Swedes celebrate the start of the fermented herring season. The Local finds out more about the worst-smelling food on earth, and collects some of the best reaction videos. READ  

Spotify founders win 'Expats of the Year'
Crown Princess Victoria and Spotify co-founder Martin Lorentzon Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Spotify founders win 'Expats of the Year'

Spotify founders Martin Lorentzon and Daniel Ek won the International Swede of the Year award (Årets svensk i världen) on Wednesday for their work in making the world's music accessible to the world. READ  

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'

Foreign and Finance Ministers Carl Bildt and Anders Borg held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss how Sweden was being affected by a "less secure" world, and how it would foot the bill for a growing influx of refugees. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
National
Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
National
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
Features
Kiruna residents talk life in a town on the move
National
Swedish dad takes kids to Israel to learn about war
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

693
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se