Ölands Skördefest – the story in English
ÖLAND HARVEST FESTIVAL
The Öland Harvest Festival – Ölands Skördefest – has attracted many visitors from its first year in 1997 and has grown to become Sweden’s most popular harvest festival. The festival revives an ancient farmers’ tradition of celebrating Michaelmas, marking the end of the growing season, when the harvest was collected and the animals were taken inside for the winter. This was followed by a Michaelmas feast and Michaelmas markets, where the newly harvested products changed hands. The Öland Harvest Festival is based on this tradition and is a showcase for the island’s fine cuisine, innovative culinary products and rich culture.
Orange pumpkins symbolize the Harvest Festival. Pumpkins have become so prominent on the island during the Harvest Festival that a journalist once described Öland as the Kingdom of Pumpkins. During the festival, there are some 900 activities on offer spread across the island from the lighthouse Långe Erik in the north to the lighthouse Långe Jan on the southern tip of the island. These activities attract well over 200,000 visitors each year. The islanders generously open their doors and invite the public to village celebrations, culinary adventures, markets, art exhibitions and many other events.
The Öland Harvest Festival starts on the Wednesday evening with an opening ceremony in the ”Öland village of the year”. Crown Princess Victoria and former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson are among the exclusive guests that have opened the inauguration ceremony. There are activities across the island from Wednesday evening to Sunday evening.
During the Friday and Saturday ”Art Nights”, the Harvest Festival lights up the autumn landscape. These are nights of memorable happenings around Öland. Wherever you find the symbol of the festival, a pumpkin on a pack of straw, you are invited in to an art experience. These art nights have become so popular that they cause traffic jams on the usually quiet Öland roads.
One of the goals of the festival was to prolong the summer tourist season. This has successfully been accomplished. Another ambition was to achieve a sense of togetherness across Öland between the many people that are somehow part of the event. The organisation behind the Öland Harvest Festival works and strives for an increased focus on Öland as an attractive place to visit all year around, a living countryside, improved accessibility and better business opportunities.
Welcome to the Öland Harvest Festival!