Being Anders

Today, November 30, is my name day, an important tradition in Sweden. There is an old superstition that the weather today determines what the Christmas weather will be. If it snows on Anders day, it won't be a white Christmas.

November 30 is also the day the Swedish king Karl XII died in the year 1718. Some years this causes right wing demonstrations, because reasons! Karl XII was actually not the 12th king named Karl, just the 6th. More than 100 years prior another Karl, newly crowned as king, chose ordinal number 9, IX, instead of the correct II. He based this on the popular history writing of the time, Historia de omnibus Gothorum Sveonumque regibus by Johannes Magnus, the last Catholic Archbishop of Sweden.The work is extremely patriotic and xenophobic, and also as it turns out, mostly made up. Having a high ordinal number was important, to sound as important as the pope in Rome. Being king is apparently not good enough. No kings have been named Anders as far as I know.

In Ger…

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