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A PEARL IN THE SKY: A full moon rises over the Bear River Mountains. / Photo by Ted Pease

Today's word on journalism

September 18, 2008

Partisan politics:

"Say 'conservative' and they wag their tails. Say 'liberal' and they bare their fangs. More to the point, say either and all thinking ceases. . . . [P]eople hear this doublespeak and cheer. Why not? They have been taught that words mean what you need them to in a given moment. Turns out, all it requires is a limitless supply of gall and the inherent belief that people are dumber than a bag of hammers."

--Leonard Pitts Jr., Pulitzer-winning columnist. The Miami Herald, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jerry Vonderbrink)

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Swedes celebrate the sun on Midsummer's Eve and Day

By Jonas Tyden

July 9, 2008 | STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- The Swedish Midsummer is seen by many as the start of the summer because a lot of people go on vacations after the traditional weekend.

Midsummer is considered by many Swedes as one of the most important holidays. It is celebrated between the 19-24 of June with Midsummer's Eve and Day on the Friday and Saturday of that week.

The night of Midsummer's Eve is the brightest night of the year in Sweden, and in many places the sun stays up all night. Everyone celebrates the summer with customary Swedish foods and traditions. Raw herring, fresh potatoes, and schnapps are the most common foods that are eaten, but a lot of children also eat meatballs.

One of the main traditions is raising the maypole. It is a simple pole, decorated with flowers and twigs and after it has been raised, families and particularly children dance around it singing traditional Swedish songs. Some people like to wear traditional folk clothing when they dance around the maypole. The most famous dance is called the "frog dance," and it is very bizarre looking.

Usually I celebrate the holiday with my family at my grandparents' country house, but this year I decided to do something different. I decided to go on a boat trip in the archipelago of Stockholm to the island Högböte.

At this island, the boat club "KMK" (Kungliga Motorbåts klubben) were having a party and I decided to attend it. KMK is translated into "the Kings Motor Boatclub." Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf is a member of the club, but unfortunately he didn't come to the island.

After the maypole and lunch was over everyone relaxed until dinner that was served at 8 p.m.

There was a big barbecue and 200 people attended the dinner. After the dinner a band came and played songs for everyone until 2 a.m.

It was a nice Midsummer this year and the sun was shining for most of the day, and all of Sweden celebrated the solstice until late that night.

Midsummer in Sweden is always the same, but it is a great time for everyone.



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