Festive Fastelavn

Victoria Hofmo Brooklyn, N.Y. Some wait in anticipation, hoping that the groundhog will not see his shadow. Others force bulbs and blossoms—a wonderful, yet time-consuming affair. But there is a jollier way to celebrate the promise of spring’s return: Fastelavn, a Scandinavian Mardi Gras celebration. This holiday bridges the end of the Christmas season and the return of spring. Drenched in pagan traditions, this holiday is chock full of fun. In Medieval times a black cat was placed in a barrel, which was whacked with sticks until it broke. The cat would be chased out of the village, hence chasing away bad luck, or winter, so spring could return. Today, this is understandably unacceptable. Instead, a bar
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The Norwegian American

Published since May 17, 1889 PO Box 30863 Seattle WA 98113 Tel: (206) 784-4617 • Email: naw@na-weekly.com

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