A tradition that lives on throughout the country.
In the middle of August, the Swedes will gather with their friends to enjoy a meal of Crayfish, schnapps (a kind of vodka), songs, paper hats with crayfish designs and decorations in the form of paper lanterns sporting the man in the moon.
Any great event in Växjö is celebrated in Stortorget and if it is big enough, then the County Director "landshövdingen" takes part in the celebrations and welcomes celebrities to his/her residence, the great 19th century palace in the square, so typical for county capitals in Sweden. The balcony here has for instance seen Olympic medallist and local hero Carolina Klüft celebrated in style when returning from Athens. Never mind that Carolina's partner recently made her leave Växjö for Karlskrona, she will always be as local as the tennis stars who have also left.
You will need a car for this one unless you make it over several days and camp or if you're on a cycling holiday. Alternatively, there are steam ship tours up the lake system summertime from Kronoberg Castle. Go to the "forgotten" villages of Berg, Tolg and Asa north west of town and hike around Lake Asa (Asasjon) with its mansion. It is known for its connections with Goering whose Swedish wife knew the owners so he once landed his plane on the lake. Today it belongs to the agricultural university and has a forest research centre which is how I discovered these villages. You can also stay in the mansion itself as it is a hotel and restaurant. Finally, the lake is the start of a canoeing trail.
Tolg has auctions now and again in summer where you can make a bargain or just bring home something unusual.
In Lärja outside Berg, is Singoalla's Cave, a romantic cave by a 20 metre steep into a forest lake. It is famous for being where author Victor Rydberg let his story about the gypsy girl Singoalla and her knight lover have its tragic end. Berg is also known for being the home of Elin Wägner. An early 20th century pacifist and feminist author who travelled around pre WWII Europe to speak, and also wrote a lot about environmental issues (in them days!) and it's easy to see where she go the inspiration from! She also founded Swedish "Save the Children". So as you can see, these idyllic villages have seen it all!
Gamla Domprostgården (Old Dean's Yard), as it is known, is today a listed building and one of the oldest wooden buildings in the city, but that's not how it always looked. When it served as a railway restaurant in the early 20th century it was full of turrets and wooden details. The house was later restored to its simpler form when Växjö turned 600 years old. What is special with it is that Pär Lagerkvist, the Nobel Prize winning author, was born here and grew up above the restaurant as his father was the station master. I have a feeling more people will visit this house now that his book "The Dwarf" will become a Hollywood movie...There is also a small Lagerkvist museum in the village of Gemla just outside Växjö.
Capital of "The Kingdom of Crystal"
"A trip to Växjö, Sweden"
Växjö, an area made up of Sweden's world-famous glassworks such as Orrefors or Kosta, being made. It is the central town of the province of Småland (the province of forests and lakes), with about 71 000 inhabitants.