Swedish Sunday: Nobel Nightcap

Three days late, I know. But I just finally battled the exhaustion that came from working 32 hours straight without sleep.  This is a post I actually wrote on Saturday and forgot to publish. Better late than never...?

Last week has been one of the most fun weeks in Stockholm. I think it is in part due to the huge snowfall we received, stranding three of my friends in the city and "forcing" us to pack my room with mattresses. Snow day sleepover complete with popcorn and a chick flick.

My favorite part of the week however has been working construction for Nobel Nightcap each day!

Let me back up...
Image via Biography.
Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm in 1833 and remains infamous for two things: inventing dynamite, and establishing the Nobel Prizes. But how exactly do the two relate?

Nobel was born into a family of engineers, and when he was 9 years old, relocated with his family to Russia where his father held government contracts to build defense weapons. Nobel was home-schooled and self taught, and soon became a brilliant engineer.  In 1862, after two years spent travelling the world, Nobel returned home to Stockholm and began experimenting with nitroglycerine. After creating his first explosion he successfully registered for a Swedish patent under the name of "Nobel lighter." Two years later Alfred's experimenting resulted in his factory blowing up and killing several people, including his younger brother Emil. Despite the tragedy, Alfred continued experimenting and in 1867 invented what we now know as dynamite. Alfred hoped this destructive product would actually be a tool for peace and is famously quoted explaining, "my factories will make an end of war sooner than your congress. The day when two army corps can annihilate each other in one second, all civilized nations, it is to be hoped, will recoil from war and discharge their troops."

The public however, did not agree with Alfred. Eight years before Alfred passed away, a French newspaper incorrectly reported his death confusing him with his deceased brother. The obituary was titled "The merchant of death is dead," and is thought to have caused Alfred to become apprehensive as to the legacy he would leave behind. Alfred died in 1896, leaving behind a will ensuring his family name would be remembered in a positive light. Alfred Nobel's last will and testament left over 90% of his total worth to the establishment of 5 annual prizes in categories of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and lastly peace. The will read that the awards were to be granted to "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."

Five years later, the first Nobel Prizes were awarded, and since 1901 have been presented to the Laureates on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death. Many incorrectly assume that the Prizes are Norwegian, as the Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, but the remaining four prizes are given out at the Prize Award Ceremony at the Stockholm City Hall.
Now what does this have to do with me? Well tomorrow is Dec 10th, and the Nobel Prize Awards Ceremony will be held downtown boasting guests such as the Swedish Royal family, laureats, etc.
Each year, a local University hosts the "Nobel Nightcap Afterparty," an exclusive and incredibly elaborate event allowing the Nobel Prize winners, and other Awards Ceremony guests to celebrate in Sweden. I was lucky enough to secure a job working the Nobel Nightcap Afterparty and could not be more thrilled. I will be working the actual event from 5pm Monday until 8am Tuesday, decked out in full costume and makeup. Aside from working the actual event and having the chance to mingle with famous Swedes, I have also spent the last week transforming the event space, a 3 floor building, into an incredibly creative, amazing venue. I was absolutely thrilled to be able to use engage in two of my favorite activities: construction, and being bossy. The event theme is top secret, and as such I will not know what my costume will be till the evening of. I cannot wait to find out tomorrow, and to fill you in on how the event goes!

(Clearly an old post, I have finally cleaned off all my makeup and caught up on sleep. I will scrounge up some event photos asap and show you the venue and costumes!)

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