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Traditional Swedish Snow Lantern

In Decorations by Einherjar

In Scandinavia, the winter is long dark and cold, which is why light and the sun is treasured in these parts. As long as the Ravens have whispered our ancestors’ achievements in our ears, we have used fire to guide our path in the winter months.

In the lands of the Scandinavians, a tradition of fire and ice has been passed down from generation to generation. Every winter many families in some parts of Scandinavia, build a snow lantern (In Swedish: Snölykta). From where in Scandinavia this tradition originates from, is unclear, but it might be from Sweden.

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What is a snow lantern?

A snow lantern is a cone-shaped lantern made from dozens of snowballs, with candles placed on the inside. A snow lantern is often built in the front yard, to light up the neighborhood, and to welcome unexpected guests.

This wintertime tradition is known widely throughout Sweden, and both young and the old love to participate in it. Of course they also build snowmen, or should I say a snow Viking, and a snow Viking should not stand alone in the darkness of the night.

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Build a traditional Swedish snow lantern

Let’s welcome the dark and cold winter months, by building a snow lantern. We should spread the joy and beauty of these Snölykta throughout the north, so we won’t suffer from winter depression.

  1. Firstly snow is not just snow, make sure it has the right consistency, and that the snow is able to stick together.
  2. Make 40-50 apple-sized snowballs.
  3. Stack the snowballs together in layers like a cone-shaped structure.
  4. The bottom layer should have the most snowballs, and the layers above should have fewer and fewer snowballs, before reaching the top.
  5. Place each snowball in the center, ontop of the two snowballs beneath it, so it will stay in its place.
  6. Before you close the snow lantern, with the last few snowballs, light one or more candles and place them inside the snow lantern, LED lights can also be used.
  7. Enjoy the glow from the beautiful snow lantern.