The Jokkmokk winter market has a history spanning over four centuries. It was established in 1604 by King Charles IX to facilitate the collection of taxes, and, as a boon, to promote trade in the northern part of Sweden. Officers of the king were entrusted with "Birlkarl", royal powers, to regulate trade with the local population and to tax the resulting profits. For over 400 years the winter market has brought together people from all corners of the sparsely populated land and even today - the event sits at the top of the local events calendar.
Björn Thunborg and his Viltaffär reached an important milestone in 2009. In that year the Viltaffär celebrated a half century of continuous presence on the winter market. In other words, since 1959 Thunborg Viltaffär has never skipped the market. The business' stall, displaying a plethora of locally made wares, has become a fixture of the winter market. Björn and Asbjörn were awarded a commemorative plate by the local authorities to mark their feat. At home, however, the anniversary was not celebrated. Björn didn't quite understand the fuss and saw little reason for pride in the accomplishment. "One must not be quite alright in the head to persevere on a market for fifty years in the bitter February cold," he said after the ceremony, "but the plate is quite beautiful in any case." After the 2012 winter market, with temperatures dropping to below -40° C, we must concur.
The Viltaffär will as a matter of course continue to be present on the winter market and we look forward to welcoming you to the Storgatan in 2018! We are not much different from Björn: perhaps at times not quite right in the head!