The winter market is now open, and the streets of Jokkmokk are already filled with people. The weather is perfect, with pleasant temperatures compared to the last couple of years. Expect a lot of photos and videos today. But first: breakfast!
As mentioned, there are more events, exhibitions, concerts and other arrangements taking place in and around Jokkmokk than I will be able to write about here. For example, Vuollerim (50 kilometers from Jokkmokk) has a huge and truly beautiful collaborative event called “The village of the 1000 ice lanterns“. I will not be able to visit it myself, but I hope that I will be able photos taken by other visitors from the event in a future blog post. Until then, check out the link to see photos from last year, as well as a video of the official Guinness World Record display of 2.651 ice lanterns that were lit during the 2013 winter market week.
As for the full market schedule, you can find it online in various forms:
– There is a web version on the official website of the winter market.
– There is also a printable PDF version which includes a lot of additional information and interesting advertisements.
– And finally, there is a simple but very useful mobile-friendly site which I use quite a lot right now.
All linked versions are in English, but the schedule is of course also available in Swedish as well.
Another great way of finding interesting events to visit are to look for the hundreds of signs that are placed all around Jokkmokk. I should actually make a photo album consisting of such signs, a phenomenon that is a significant part of the winter market tradition…
The 2014 winter market has now been officially declared open. Now, let’s make this a memorable event! Photos from the opening ceremony will be posted tomorrow morning, along with a schedule for planned live broadcasts and a number of interviews that were made earlier today…
The opening ceremony of the Jokkmokk winter market 2014 will be broadcast live by SVT (Swedish national television), through their online service SVT Play. With this in mind, I will not be making any live broadcast here on Jokkmokk: Live!, but rather focus on taking photos and interviewing visitors.
(Edit: See a clip from the opening ceremony here.)
Right beside the park located in the middle of the winter market area, there is a large, gray three-floor house. Once known as Hotel Engelmark, the old building (which is more than 100 years old) is today the tourist information center and the office of Destination Jokkmokk, a part of Swedish Lapland. This is where tourists and market visitors can find answers to all the questions that they may have regarding the winter market, as well as recommendations for interesting events and exciting adventures during the winter market week – and of course during the rest of the year as well.
To read more about what Jokkmokk has to offer besides the winter market, check out Destination Jokkmokk: To do. There is also a list of restaurants that can be useful for winter market visitors. Jokkmokks has been named “Matlandethuvudstad 2014” (which can be loosely translated to “the capital of food in Sweden in the year of 2014”) by the Swedish Government, much because of the Sami cuisine, so I will be writing more about food experiences throughout the rest of the week.
The second exhibition I visited today was the opening of Queering Sápmi – Life stories from a minority inside another minority. Queering Sápmi is a project which brings forward stories and views from the perspectives of LBGT persons within Sápmi, a topic that has been mostly invisible and seldom talked about – something that the project aims to change.
After publishing a book, the project has organized an exhibition which is open on Ájtte museum during the winter market. The exhibition was presented by project managers Sara Lindquist and Elfrida Bergman, and it will only be open until the end of this week. The book is available in several languages, and it can be purchased from the Ájtte museum shop.
Today I have visited two exhibitions at Ájtte museum. The first showed the art of Maj-Doris Rimpi, an award-winning Sami artist working with many different kinds of materials. She displayed paintings, textiles, tin embroideries, wood and sculptures in beautiful combinations.
The opening of the exhibition had just ended when I arrived, and most people had left. But Maj-Doris herself was still there, so I got a chance to speak with her about the challenge of keeping focus on creativity in a world with a constant stream of new technology. She lives in Parenjárgga, a few kilometers west of Porjus, but her art has been seen all over the world.
The exhibition will be open until March 22nd, and is well worth a visit.
The roads in the market area have now been closed, and the first salesmen have started to build their booths.
During the winter market of 2013, this blog was written in Swedish (as can be seen in the older posts). However, if you want to get an idea of what to expect during the next couple of days, it may still be worth scrolling through the archive to see the photos and videos that were published at that time. Here are a few more photos from last year, gathered in a slideshow.
Last year, the weather was beautiful, with sunshine, temperatures around -20 degrees Celsius and no wind. Looking at the forecast for Thursday-Saturday, it seems like it will be warmer (-5 to -10) and cloudy, possibly snowy.
Today I visited the historical market at Hembygdsgården. As mentioned, it is a kind of winter market by itself, with a historical theme. I was wrong about electricity last time I mentioned the historical market, there were more lamps than fires this year, but the old houses and traditional outfits of the salesmen (as well as the selection of products for sale) did its best to contribute to the illusion of visiting a winter market as it may have looked in the past.
At the time of my visit, there were not very much people in the area. The location, in the forest beside Lake Talvatis, may be a bit hard to find for first-time visitors. But the salesmen I interviewed said that it had been a slow but steady stream of people passing by throughout the day. Tomorrow, the symbolic fire from the historical market will be passed to the organizers of the main winter market, in an opening ceremony from which I will be broadcasting live through Bambuser.
Here are some photos from the historical market. Click the thumbnails to see larger photos. For more information about the historical market, see its website: historiskamarknaden.se.
STOORSTÅLKA is hosting workshops in Sami band weaving during the winter market week. For 80 SEK you get a 45-minute crash course, where you create your own band. My fiancée Johanna (who has a big interest for handicraft) participated in one of the workshops today, and got lots of inspiration from it. For more information, see this page.
With beautiful weather (sunshine, no wind and -1 degrees Celsius) and preparations going on everywhere, I decided to bring the camera and go for a walk. Here is a photo album showing streets and buildings around the winter market area. Click the slideshow above to open a larger image viewer.
If the weather will remain this nice for the rest of the week, it would be the warmest winter market in several years – and the forecasts are actually looking promising.
Beautiful snow sculpture by Niklas Svensson, in the Klockarvägen-Storgatan roundabout.
The winter market week started with great weather and, accordingly to the business owners and event organizers I have spoken with, a good amount of visitors. The keyword is still “anticipation”, even though several events have already started. The plan for tomorrow is to visit the historical market, which gives an idea of what the winter market may have looked like in the past. The historical market is a fascinating experience by itself, with fires serving as light sources and with the products for sale being of a more traiditional kind – sold by salesmen dressed in traditional outfits. I will bring a camera to get better photos, and I’m planning to make a video of a walk through the historical market to give you a sense of the atmosphere.
On monday afternoon, I went out to visit some of the many different places of interest in Jokkmokk. The general mood and atmosphere is still mostly calm, atleast at a first glance. But almost everyone I asked, said that there had already been a first rush of people and that they expected the market this year to have more visitors than it has had in several years. The weather forecasts look promising, with no signs of the extreme cold that created challenges two years ago. If we can trust the forecast (which I generally avoid to do), it will be -5 to -10 degrees Celsius and somewhat cloudy, possibly with some snow, at the end of this week.
The first stop for me was Gamla Apoteket (“the old pharmacy”), a beautiful green house right in the middle of the (soon to be) winter market area which hosts art and handicraft exhibitions. I looked at many different kinds of handicraft, ranging from weaves and knitted socks and hats, to everyday products like key rings and cheese slicers made from reindeer horns. There were also paintings (oil and water color), scarves, ponchos and books about handicraft for sale. On the upper floor, a weaving workshop was in progress.
I will return to the old pharmacy once the main market starts on Thursday, but I know from previous years experiences that it may be difficult to get good photos since the rooms and hallways are usually quite crowded – much because of the central location of the old pharmacy – so I made sure to get a number of pictures in good time this year.
I also visited Villa Åsgård (a hostel located in the middle of the market area), the Jokkmokk Winter Conference at Ája and the Ájtte museum. More about that tomorrow!
The winter market week of 2014 has started in Jokkmokk, and guests and visitors have started to arrive. One of the first events is the Jokkmokk Winter Conference, which will feature presentations and panel discussions on the theme “Make it happen: Eco-Mobility for the North” in the Ája building for four days. The historical winter market has also started. I will visit both events tomorrow to take photos and speak with participants.
Handicraft and art exhibitions are open at various locations around Jokkmokk, such as “Magical Lapland” by Maikki Mäkinen at Gamla Apoteket (“the old pharmacy”). I don’t know more about it than the title, but it was enough to make me curious so I will drop by to find out more.
I’m also seeing that people are visiting this site from a number of different parts of the world already, so I’d like to post a reminder: If there is anything specific you want me to write about, take photos of or record on video, please let me know. I will be sharing my own experiences of the Jokkmokk winter market here, but I would also be happy to pay special attention to things that are of interest to people who read this blog. Send an e-mail to the address in the site header, or an SMS/iMessage to the phone number, if you have requests or suggestions.
With less than one week left before the winter market week of 2014 starts in Jokkmokk, there is one word that could be used to describe the general atmosphere: Anticipation. After a couple of cold weeks with temperatures below -30 degrees Celsius, the temperature is now at a comfortable -12 degrees. The first round of snow removal has cleared the streets and sidewalks to make space for salesmen and visitors. Snow sculptures are being created, business owners are preparing for a week with a lot more customers and the blog you are reading right now will soon become an active stream of texts, photos, videos, sounds and other forms of shared experiences from the Jokkmokk winter market.
This time, Jokkmokk: Live! will be written in English, to make experiences from the winter market available and accessible for a lot more people all around the world. There will be articles, photo galleries, live video streams, YouTube clips, sounds and more, published directly from the Jokkmokk winter market – live as it happens. A collaboration project between Destination Jokkmokk (a part of Swedish Lapland) and local computer company Jokkmokks IT-Center, Jokkmokk: Live! will make it possible to experience a part of the many events that arrangements that the winter market offers, even if you are half a world away.
The blog is written and administrated by Andreas Viklund, a web designer and writer from Jokkmokk who has a huge passion for his home town and for the winter market – and for finding exciting ways to use the internet to share experiences and tell stories. The blog will also have a stream of content from social media services like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where everyone will be able to share photos and texts using the hashtag #jokkmokklive.
The blog go into “live mode” on Monday the 3rd of February, when the winter market week starts. The main market starts on Thursday, February 6th, but there will be lots to write about preparations, recommendations and events during the first days of the week as well. Live broadcasts through the Jokkmokk Live Bambuser channel (which will also be embedded on a page here) are planned for the opening ceremony on Wednesday the 5th, the reindeer race on Thursday and the main market event on Friday and Saturday. A schedule will be posted early next week.
Regarding the reindeer race, here is a teaser: Jokkmokk: Live! will, if everything works out technically, record and broadcast atleast one race from a participants perspective. The official theme of the 2014 winter market is “The Reindeer”, and you will meet a number of reindeers in this blog throughout the week…