Flickornas Dans på Kyrkogården
Flickornas Dans på Kyrkogården translates as “The Dance of the Girls in the Churchyard” (Graveyard). It is a very nice, lyrical waltz, and preserved from the playing of a Småland fiddler, Nils Pettersson, from Torsås.
The title refers to an old legend in Småland. The traditional beginning of the Christmas morning celebration was called “Julotta”, and took place before dawn at the church.
The story is that three girls went early to the Julotta, and actually arrived at the church at midnight. Perhaps because they had so much time to wait, and perhaps because they were so cold, they decided to dance in the graveyard around the church.
But once they started dancing, they were unable to stop, and were compelled to continue. When the church congregation arrived for the Julotta, they found the girls lying on the ground, dead.
According to tradition, it is always dangerous to come to the church too early at Christmas. You see, the dead have their own Julotta before the living, and they do not like to be disturbed. If you go into the church during their celebration, you risk being killed by them.
To the left is a picture from the churchyard at Ekshärad church in Värmland. It has a tradition dating back to the 1700’s of having handmade iron crosses as grave markers.
Here is a YouTube recording of a team of fiddlers playing Flickornas Dans på Kyrkogården.