Sweden and the Seasons

What the Sami can teach us about the Swedish seasons.

So far on this blog we have talked about the fall, winter, spring, and summer seasons. Today we are going to wrap it all up together and talk about the seasons as a whole in Sweden.

From reading my previous posts (or perhaps from experiencing them yourself), you know that the Swedish seasons have their own distinct personalities. But while most countries experience four distinct seasons, Sweden can be divided into eight seasons!

According to the Sami, the indigenous people of northern Lapland, the eight seasons are:

  • Spring Winter – Marked by the movement of the pregnant reindeer females from the forests to the mountains.
  • Spring – Marked by the melting of snow and the birth of reindeer calves.
  • Pre-summer – Marked by the Sami livestock grazing on the fresh growth across the mountains.
  • Summer – Marked by its eternal sunshine for weeks on end. This is also when the reindeer calves are marked.
  • Pre-autumn – Marked by the changing of the leaves colors. This is also when the reindeer bulls are slaughtered.
  • Autumn – Marked by the mating of the reindeer. It is also the season for fishing.
  • Pre-winter – Marked by the movement of the reindeer herds from the mountains to sheltered grazing in the marshlands.
  • Winter – Marked by the movement of the reindeer herds into the protective forests.

Notice how integral the reindeer, or ren, are to the Sami people and all aspects of their life year round? I think this is so fascinating and believe that we have so much to learn from groups, such as the Sami, that are masters of this land.

If you find it hard to believe that the Sami people can categorize the year into eight different seasons in Sweden, just know that they also have over 300 different ways of saying “snow”! Hope you enjoyed learning about the (many) Swedish seasons. If you can, come visit and experience them for yourself!

Fun Facts:

  • In Sweden, Spring runs from March/April to May.
  • Summer from June to August.
  • Fall from September to October/November.
  • Winter from November/December to March/February.
  • Sami country – known as Sápmi – stretches across the northern part of Scandinavia and Russia’s Kola Peninsula.
  • Population estimates for the Sami people are ~80,000 people, spread over four countries (~20,000 in Sweden, ~50,000 in Norway, ~8,000 in Finland, and ~2,000 in Russia).

Tess’ Tips:

  • Make the changing of the seasons as magical as can be by taking the time to enjoy and appreciate each one for its unique qualities.

Hope you learned some new Swedishness today and I’ll see you in the next post!

4 thoughts on “Sweden and the Seasons

  1. Wow! I never even knew about the Sami people! It makes sense, though, how they use the reminder to divide the years into 8 seasons. The idea of 300 terms for snow is intriguing to me as a language teacher. (Here in Fresno, CA, we’re lucky if we even have one! 😂)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to hear I passed on some new knowledge about the Sami! And I agree that it is fascinating that we can learn what is important about a culture based on the words they have! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

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