Hej hej! (In case you didn't know, that's how the Swedes cheerily greet each other - pronounced "hey hey".) Being a big fan of Scandinavian designs (especially mid century furniture), naturally, I visited this year's Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar to immerse myself in their lovely culture, snap a few photos, try some Scandinavian cuisine and maybe even shop for Christmas presents. Held at the Swedish Church in Toorak, Melbourne, I actually felt transported to Europe! Well, not that I've been there. But really, all the shop owners were happily greeting people in that soft-spoken and friendly manner, some patiently explaining to visitors a little about their culture, or sharing a traditional Swedish recipe using the foodstuff sold there. The bright red glow of Christmas ornaments lit up by sparkling lights all add to making me wish I was browsing in one of the many traditional European Christmas markets out in the snow, taking in the fragrance of roasted chestnuts in the air. Sigh...
There's just something very beautiful about Scandinavian design. Beauty in simplicity and form and function, which I believe, a lot of photographers would really appreciate. But at this bazaar, there were more Scandinavian traditional items. Traditional wooden Nordic horses, Christmas wooden toys, herrings, hand-dipped candles, jams, clogs... I'm glad to report that Ikea didn't set up shop!
Also, maybe because it was organised by the church, the items there, especially the food, were of great value. Trust me on this. Having been to a few crafts markets here, they really do try to rip you off just cause people are usually more willing to shell out money in these occasions. For a mere $2.50, I enjoyed some homemade apple strudel dessert. I paid just $3.50 for a Norwegian waffle which came laden with homemade jam. Hope they keep it like this next year and I'll be sure to visit again!
Oh, and I must get myself to the Nuremberg markets sometime in the future! Pre-Christmas next year perhaps? Till then, I have some concentrate/essence bought at the market to make Glögg!
$1 and $2 Australian coins are gold in colour. Hence.
Jag älskar dig!
Traditional hand-dipped candles.
The Scandinavian version of Aussie's Vegemite.
I'm not usually one to love to hype things up. But this waffle was actually really good thanks to the jam. Maybe because when it comes to 'festival', I usually don't expect much.
Love this shot. They were chatting in Swedish. Do you see what else I see?
Some cakes left on the window sill! Don't know why, but this scene suddenly reminded me of all the fairy tales I used to read when I was a kid. There must be a story about leaving some pies on the window sill and birds ate it or something like that?
Another very VALID reason to visit Sweden. HOT!
But of course.
And the viking saw that all is good and joyous, and partook in a traditional Swedish game of Kubb.
PS. This post reminds me of my time in NY just last Christmas. You can read about it here:
- New York, Travel - Bagel with lox at Russ & Daughters
- New York, Street - Christmas Eve at the Union Square Holiday Markets