There’s been a strange buzzing of activity on the island over the past few days. On every corner a group of kids on bikes and old worn Volvos driving around stacked with Christmas trees in the trunk. A helicopter has been circling the island and even a police car (there is no police on Hönö only if they get called out from the mainland). Apparently there is a code of honour, after four am Easter eve no one is allowed to steal any trees from each other. In the morning all the kids start bringing trees out from their hideouts and stacking them on the particular bonfire that they “belong” to. There is a lot of fuel, alcohol for the participants and gas canisters and oil for the bonfire. It’s all a recipe for disaster but, touch wood, usually it goes smooth. Oh and not to forget all the fireworks that kids throw on the fire.
I asked my neighbour, who’s 95 years old this summer, about the Easter fires. How long it’s been going on. He said -For ever, at least since from when I was a kid. We used to light one at Långholmen. You had to row your boat out full with xmas trees. One year someone gave us an old rowing boat and barrels of tar from Vadbinderiet(where they tie the fishing nets). That year the fire burned until four o’clock in the morning.
Then finally last night it was time. We made our way up to Kanon berget(Cannon hill), there was a lot of shouting up on the hill and as usual we lost our way going up, they had already lit the “narr-fyren (see https://henisland.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/the-big-hunt-is-on/) so we had to make our way up a steep mountainside. A large collection of trees were stacked and tied with ropes with a plastic ice-cream ad clown as decoration. It was all very civilised, the police showed up for the first time since we started going to that fire. They had made tour around the Islands and apparently confiscated 400litre of oil at one of the other fires. They also told us more about what happened Thursday, a shipping container was transported on the ferry with trees from the mainland( this is news to me I didn’t think there was cheating going on) a rivalry gang showed up and started a big fight and wild chase after the Xmas trees. There were a lot of rumours about injuries but the police had a different story. All in all we had a great night, not counting a sprained ankle, and woke up to summer weather. 20degrees sunshine and BBQ!