• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Mini Stockholm' invades English Christmas city

5 Dec 2012, 15:00

Published: 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.

Story continues below…

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

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
Sweden advised to bring conscription back in 2018
Bringing back the draft could help a stretched military, a government inquiry says. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Young men and women could be made to fill in questionnaires for recruitment to the Armed Forces as early as next year, according to a new proposal.

Nationalists suspend aide after Russia propaganda claim
The suspended aide is a political secretary to SD member of parliament Kent Ekeroth. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

His suspension comes only days after another of the party's political secretaries resigned amid controversy over a property deal in Russia.

Presented by Lernia
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Photo: Lernia

Struggling to learn Swedish? There are a few ways to make it easier. Here are seven tips from the experts.

Here's how much Sweden's highest-earning authors make
It was a good year for the likes of Jonas Jonasson (left) and Camilla Läckberg (right). Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT & Henrik Montgomery/TT

From Nordic Noir to a hundred-year-old man (and one called Ove), Sweden's authors had a good year in 2015.

Sweden named world's sixth most competitive country
The good news also came with some caveats. Photo: Izabelle Nordfjell/TT

The country moved up three places in the top ten of the latest edition of the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index.

The Swedish celebs you really should not google
'Oh no, don't tell me I just clicked on THAT link.' Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

These are the world's most dangerous viral Swedish celebrities, according to a new report.

Furious elk mum attacks Swede, breaks his arm
You talkin' to me? Photo: Mikael Fritzon/TT

It came back and attacked him not once, but twice.

Report: Stockholm is at risk of a housing bubble
Apartments in Stockholm. Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Stockholmers are the third most likely to experience a housing bubble in their city, according to an international ranking.

The Local List
Reverse culture shock: the troubles of leaving Sweden
Does it get more Swedish than this? Photo: Emelie Asplund/imagebank.sweden.se

Why is that stranger talking to me in the elevator?!

Police close Facebook thread after call for help derails
A file photo of police cars on Gotland not related to the article. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

The Gotland Police Facebook post asking the public for information about an unprovoked attack on two boys had to be closed because the comments section spiraled out of control.

Sponsored Article
Expat finances in Sweden: the Common Reporting Standard
National
Aliens' sex lives? Why Swedes want Nasa to send a condom into space
Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
Analysis & Opinion
'If Sweden really wants startups, drop the red tape on migration'
Gallery
Property of the week: Gotland
Blog updates

27 September

Cutting your nose …. (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Last week, Jeremy Browne, the Special Representative for the City of London, visited Sweden. Jeremy was…" READ »

 

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
National
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Gallery
People-watching: September 23rd-25th
Politics
Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
National
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,976
jobs available