News Release

Festinord celebrates its 50th anniversary

More than 800 young adults participated in this year’s event

Festinord literally means “party in the north” and is an annual conference for young single adults held in the Nordic European countries.  First observed in 1966 in Stockholm, Sweden, it was organized as an opportunity for young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) to spend five activity-filled days together.  They worship, attend workshops, participate in service projects, play sports, and dance - making many new friends.

This year, Festinord celebrated its 50th anniversary in a very special way. More than 850 young adults from various countries attended the conference, held again in Stockholm.  Although the focus of the conference is for members of the Church, young adults from other faiths are also welcome provided they agree to live by Mormon standards throughout the week.

Elder Paul V. Johnson, Second Counselor in the Europe Area Presidency of the Church, highlighted the importance of attending these specially crafted events. “If you’re a young single adult and you’re wondering whether you ought to go to Festinord, or a Young Single Adult conference that we are holding in Europe, I’d say go”. He added that these events are “a chance to strengthen your own spiritual self-reliance and your own spiritual power”.

The week long schedule covered a wide range of activities. Each morning, a spiritual meeting or devotional invited the participants to find ways to draw closer to Jesus Christ that day. 

On Monday, one of the main activities was the check-in of participants and lodging assignments.  The afternoon’s activities served as an effective ice breaker.  The first of four evening dances, each with a different theme, completed the day’s activities.  Although many people arrived as strangers to one another, others returning from previous conferences were eager to meet up with old friends.

Tuesday was more physical. Sports and outside activities were held throughout the day.  Team sports and activities in Festinord are designed to develop cooperation and communication skills among the participants.

Wednesday’s schedule was composed of a variety of workshops running during the day. Presenters ranged from dance and judo instructors to authors, musicians, historians, video producers, and religious leaders.  Attendees were able to choose up to four workshops to attend to. 

On Thursday, because of the proximity to Stockholm, the group attended the temple during the day. A participant testimony meeting was also held in the afternoon and the day ended with the third dance of the week.

Friday morning was a wrap-up of Tuesday’s sporting events. The week was then capped off by the “Gala Night,” a formal dinner and dance esteemed by many to be the highlight of the week. This year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Festinord, old participants of former conferences joined the youth in this special Gala. It became a very emotional moment, with several generations mingling together and sharing special feelings and fond memories of this life-changing event.

Saturday was the final day. During the morning, a final devotional and farewell was held. Most participants promised to come back and meet again in future conferences. If they decide to attend next year, they will come back to Stockholm, because Sweden’s capital will also host the 2017 edition. 

Festinord has proven to be more than its creators ever imagined fifty years ago.  From an initial gathering of a small number of youth to over 800 attending this year, it is certainly proof that the desires and intents of its creators—as well as those attending—have certainly been met.

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