Snølykt

For your New Year’s enjoyment, here is a Norwegian snølykt. Or rather, two of them. (snølykts?)

I am told that in the U.S. Norwegians built these six feet tall, and that in English they are called “snow lanterns”.

For information on how to build one, here are instructions in Norwegian (thanks, Trond) and instructions in English, don’t forget to look at the second page  (thanks, Ø).  This Norwegian video gives a little better idea of what they’re supposed to look like if you have a production crew and a budget.

The pronunciation of snølykt has been given alternatively as:

  • AJP (who lives in Norway): Snølykt! pronounced (nonrhotically) snerlicked.
  • Trond (a Norwegian): The vowel of ‘fur’ or ’sir’ is a good approximation of the long ø of ’snø’. Y is almost impossible for English speakers, so ‘licked’ maybe the best available pronunciation. The vowel here is short and will in many dialects be pronounced with an ø (even written in many cases, as in ‘nøkkel’ “key” and ‘løkke’ “loop”), so maybe you could say ‘lucked’, too, but that depends on your dialect.
  • AJP:… like the short ü of German…

A safety reminder: Husk å blåse ut lyset før du går fra det Remember to blow out the candle before you go away from it.

More links: a gallery of photos from the Japanese snow lantern festival, best images are the large lanterns carved from snow packed in a wooden frame the night before, and a walkway lighted with recessed candles. This one is tiny, only four snowballs high–tealight candle inside? Then there is the Finnish ice lantern that uses a bowl or bucket or even Chinese takeout cartons as a mold. Some directions have you taping a second mold on the inside, but since water freezes from the outside in, you can just let the water freeze until it is an inch or so thick then pour out the remaining water and run the mold under hot water to get the piece of ice out.

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One Response to “Snølykt”

  1. Meteorology and the City « Building Says:

    […] In the meantime, why not temporarily transform the exterior lighting in your area by making a snølykt? […]


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