Nobel Week, and particularly the Nobel Banquet, puts the global spotlight on Stockholm each year – which means every detail has to be perfect. Preparations are in full swing, and dinner is no triviality. In a tradition which goes back to World War II, the menu is highly confidential, but said to be one-of-a-kind.
"Sill is unfortunately not an option, which is too bad," said Nobel gastronomic advisor (yes, there is one) Gert Klötzke, referring to pickled herring, a traditional dish in Swedish cuisine, but one that's rather hard to swallow. "Many nationalities have a hard time with it. Otherwise it would be nice to offer sill and spirit snaps."
Other highlights of the week will include the Nobel Lectures. Each Nobel laureate is obliged to give a public lecture related to their respective prize, which are spread throughout the week and are free of charge. Nobel Week quite simply has something for everyone, fashion gurus to food critics to science nerds alike – so let's get started with a look at the events day by day.
Saturday December 7th
Fans of literature, medicine, and physiology are in for a treat today, with lectures being held throughout the afternoon. Literature fans will need to pre-book tickets for the Swedish Academy in Gamla Stan, where they can watch a pre-recorded video conversation with Canadian laureate Alice Munro. Munro herself will not be attending due to her health.
Medicine and Physiology boffins, meanwhile, won't have to spend a single krona if they want to see the laureates James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman, and Thomas C. Sudhof talking about their work. Head to the Aula Medica Auditorium at the Karolinksa Institure, but no later than 12.45pm. The talk kicks off at 1pm.
Sunday December 8th
Literature not your thing? Prefer Physics, Economics or Chemistry (click those words to read more about the 2013 winners)? Then why not head down to the Aula Magna Auditorium at Stockholm University, where talks will be held from 9am to 3.20pm at no cost? All talks will be held in English, and speakers include Peter W. Higgs, Eugene F. Fama, Robert J. Shiller and more.
Prefer music? Wednesday night will hold the annual Nobel Concert, where the Stockholm Concert Hall in Hötorget will host the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Ochestra under Italian conductor Riccardo Muti. Tickets from 500 to 1,490 kronor. You can expect works from Verdi, Martucci and Respighi.
Monday December 9th
It's off to the other side of the country today, where the Nobel Week Dialogue will be held at Gothenburg's Swedish Exhibition And Congress Centre. The topic – Exploring the Future of Energy.
Tuesday December 10th
Further afield on Tuesay, and we're crossing to Norway's capital, Oslo. Here, if you're on the invite list of course, you can enjoy the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony. If you're not on the invite list, enjoy the show live on a big-screen at the Nobel Peace Centre. In recent years, the show has included big stars performing big hits, including in 2006 a memorable and apt rendition of Peace Train by Yusuf Islam, better known as Cat Stevens.
Back in Stockholm, 4.30pm marks the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, and the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall gets under way at 7pm. See pictures from 2012's banquet here, and expect a string of well-known faces including the laureates, the Swedish royal family, and politicians. If you're in a sartorial mood, why not check out some of Crown Princess Victoria's gowns from recent years, and her sister Princess Madeleine's too.