About the program year – the 8 Sami seasons

The Samis – the EU’s only indigenous people, have always regarded the northern region as a borderless country. Ubmeje, (the Sami word for Umeå) is a part of Sápmi – the lands inhabited by the Sami people – and their history, culture, livelihoods, religion and language. The Sami calendar year is a way of recording the shifting changes of the seasons and focusing on what is important in each and every period.

And that is why we have divided our capital of culture year into eight seasons that embody the Sami’s calendar. The seasons have their own rhythm, formed by the Sami’s cultural heritage and closeness to nature. Every season has its own character and traits, just like the activities we have planned during the European Capital of Culture year.

The complete capital of culture year will comprise hundreds of projects, among them main projects, festivals and free-standing programme activities. Certain projects and activities will reoccur every season and the programme will be continually added to.

With reservation for changes
The programme year has been formed over several years and even now is not completely fixed. In just the same way that the weather changes creative ideas and projects also evolve over time. We would therefore ask for your understanding should certain elements change before the start and by the end of the capital of culture year. A large number of projects will be added while others will be replaced or change shape and form.

Whatever the changes we are convinced that the year will offer tens of thousands of unique ‘stories’ that will put the northern lands firmly on the map for ever!

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