Swedes get inventive with new surnames
(National) Swedes are finding it easier to change their last names to fun and inventive identities thanks to the new Swedish Name Act. The new rules allow a person to change their last name to anything, including hyphenated surnames, which might better identity them. The number of applications has sky rocketed, going up more than 50 percent. In 2016, Swedes registered names such as Drakpil (Dragon Arrow) and Rosenhvit (Rose White). Some have chosen to change their name in order to mark the beginning of a family or marriage adding “son” or “dotter.”

Museums see greater visitor growth
(Culture) According to a Swedish Radio survey, all but one of the 18 state run museums that eliminated entrance fees last year have seen a boost in visitor attendance. Ann-Sofi Noring, co-director of Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art, says that free admission was not the only factor in raising attendance, however, as the quality of the exhibitions was also a key factor.

2017 Guldbagge Award nominees
(Culture) The 2017 nominees for Sweden’s prestigious Guldbagge film award were announced on Jan. 4. Last year's “The 101-Year-Old Man Who Skipped Out on the Bill and Disappeared” received eight nominations; “My Aunt in Sarajevo" and "The Giant” follow close behind with six nominations. The Guldbagge Awards are Sweden’s most prestigious film awards and have been presented since 1964 for outstanding contributions in 19 categories including a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Queen’s Haunting
(Culture) Are there ghosts in Drottningholm Palace? Queen Silvia and Princess Christina believe so. In the BBC1 special broadcast titled “Drottningholm Palace — a Royal Home,” Queen Silvia shares her experience with how the castle is haunted by many ghosts. Built in 1600, Drottningholm is the private residence of the Swedish royal family and has a lot of history. "There is much energy in this house," said Princess Christina. It is open to visitors who can feel for themselves, perhaps, the presence of many friendly ghosts. The documentary first airs on Jan. 5.

Snow chaos and other spectacular weather headlines
(Lifestyle) For Swedes it’s all "lagom" until the flakes start to fly. After a very mild New Year, the temperatures have dropped and brought in freezing cold temperatures and snow. Slippery roads, cold temps and even the lightest of snow flakes result in extreme news headlines such as “Snow Chaos,” “Russian Cold,” “German terror weather.” It’s all in good fun, and according to Göteborgs Posten, tsuch headlines result in bonding conversation among neighbors.