These are some of the photos I took at the 40th annual meeting of Slovenes in Sweden. The images were published on the inside front page of Naša luč, a monthly magazine for Slovenes around the world.
Every year on Whitsun Eve, Slovenes in Sweden meet in the small medieval town of Vadstena, known for the monastic order founded by Saint Bridget as well as for what is considered the best preserved renaissance castle in Sweden.
The day starts with mass in the modern Bridgettine abbey, Pax Mariae Abbey, followed by a procession to the park surrounding the medieval Vadstena Abbey. One of the symbols of the Slovenian nation is the linden, the lime tree, and the participants in the procession gather round a specific linden planted in the park on the occasion of the 25th anniversary in 1998. After a few short speeches and a song, the congregation then moves into the old Abbey, also known as the Blue Church, where there are prayers and more singing.
The Bridgettine nuns then serve a much-appreciated lunch in the garden of their priory. There is a music group from Slovenia, and the rest of the afternoon is filled with folk music and singing.
The evening is spent in the congregation hall of a nearby school. A dinner is served and then follows a cultural programme. There is a lottery with many prizes, there are speeches and more songs, the band – this year Zarja – plays till late in the night and the dance floor is crowded.
In addition to the series of images on page two, the magazine published three more of my photos in an article about this very special day.