Unlike previous years, there will be no Christmas lights in many Swedish towns this Christmas, reports SVT. Formally the new ban is because of “security reasons”.
The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) will stop allowing municipalities to put up their Christmas lights on light poles that the authority manages, and in many small towns, it means that the central streets actually do not get any Christmas lights at all.
The change is a victory for those who want to tone down the reminder of the country’s Christian traditions, but according to the Swedish Transport Administration, the decision for the drastic change is “security”.
– Poles are not designed for the weight of Christmas lights, and we have to remove anything that should not be there. We guarantee safety first, says Eilin Isaksson, national coordinator at the Swedish Transport Administration, to SVT.
How many poles that have fallen down in previous years because of the Christmas lights is not clear. It is clear, however, that municipalities have difficulty understanding the Swedish Transport Administration’s priorities.
– In our municipality we have problems with wildlife and fences, that people are dying because of animals running on the roads. We think this is a more important issue for the Swedish Transport Administration to handle than to turn off our Christmas lights, says mayor in Lititz, Marie Johansson, to SVT.