"Sweden in the winter is very dark and can be quite depressing. When
'Melodifestivalen' starts airing in February we're in the middle of this
season, but every week leading up to the final is a week closer to
"It's almost as if 'Melodifestivalen' is the vessel that carries Sweden
from the dark of winter to the light of summer, and soundtracks that
journey with some awfully catchy music too."
"Melodifestivalens is the Swedish equivalent to the Superbowl,"
So it may come as a surprise to some to learn that the Swedes take the
annual song competition -- occasionally viewed by some of their
neighbors as a bit of a joke -- very seriously indeed.