|• Total||29,086 km2 (11,230 sq mi)|
|• Density||9.8/km2 (25/sq mi)|
|• Animal||Eagle owl|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Dalarna (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈdɑ̂ːlaɳa] i) is a landskap (historical province) in central Sweden. English exonyms for it are Dalecarlia (US: //) and the Dales.
Dalarna adjoins Härjedalen, Hälsingland, Gästrikland, Västmanland and Värmland. It is also bordered by Norway in the west. The province's borders mostly coincide with the modern administrative Dalarna County (län).
The word "Dalarna" means "the dales" (valleys). The area is a holiday destination for Swedes from the south, who often travel there in the summer, drawn by its fishing lakes, campgrounds, and forests. Some Swedes own or rent a second home in Dalarna, where they are likely to have a vegetable garden and apple trees. In mid-June, midsummer celebrations and dances are held in many of the small villages and in the larger cities. Dalarna is a region full of historical associations, and both its products and its people have strong local characteristics. In the western district Lima, some people in villages speak a traditional dialect, Dalecarlian, while in Älvdalen, they speak Elfdalian, a dialect as foreign as Norwegian or Danish. Historically, the people of Dalecarlia – called Dalecarlians, or Dalesmen (dalkarlar, masar) and Daleswomen (kullor) – have been famous for their independent nature toward authority.
The Old Norse form of the province name is Járnberaland, which means "the land of the iron carriers."
Dalarna is roughly the size of the whole of Jutland (Denmark).
The provinces of Sweden serve no administrative or political purposes, but function as historical and cultural entities. In the case of Dalarna a corresponding administrative Dalarna County has almost, but not exactly, the same boundaries as the province, except for a part of the northeast (Hamra parish, also known as Orsa Finnmark) which forms part of Ljusdal Municipality, Gävleborg County.
Dalarna's coat of arms dates from 1560; the use of two crossed arrows as a symbol precedes this. A Duchy of Dalecarlia also exists, and the provincial arms include a ducal coronet.
Blazon: "Azure, two Dalecarlian Arrows Or in saltire point upwards pointed Argent and in chief a Crown of the first".
As early as 1525, the arrows appeared in use on a seal. Dalarna County uses the same coat of arms, granted for the then Kopparberg County in 1936.
The northern part of the province is dominated by mountains and the vast Orsa Finnmark area. The southern part of the province is part of the Bergslagen region, and consists mostly of plains, hills and forested areas. There are several copper mines in the southern part, most notorious of which being the Falun Mine. The highest point is Storvätteshågna, at 1,204 meters above sea level. The lowest point is in the southeast, at 55 meters above sea level.
Dalarna's largest lake is lake Siljan, in the middle part of Dalarna. There the Västerdal River and Österdal River join the Dal River. Dalarna's second largest lake is Runn, which lies between Falun and Borlänge. With 66.6 square kilometres (25.7 sq mi) of water and over 50 islands, the lake is a tourist destination.
Dalarna was historically divided into chartered cities and districts:
Since 1971, the cities are seats of their respective municipalities.
The province of Dalarna formed part of Svealand before the formation of Sweden in the 11th century.
Three historically notorious rebellions started in the Dalarna province:
Historically, Dalarna has enjoyed a rich and unique folk culture, with distinct music, paintings, and handicrafts. The province preserved longer than any other the use of the Runic alphabet, a local dialect of which, the so-called Dalecarlian runes or Dalrunes, survived into the 19th century.
A symbol of the province is the Dalecarlian horse, in Swedish Dalahäst, a painted and decorated wooden horse. Sulky racing is common in the region. The high level of calcium in the soil favours horse breeding.
UNESCO has named the mining area of the Stora Kopparberg ("Great Copper Mountain") in Falun a World Heritage Site.
The Swedish provinces were subdivided into the Hundreds of Sweden, in effect until the early 20th century.
In some provinces, the sub-dividing was through districts. Dalarna had only one chartered hundred; the others were court districts.
Skiing is popular in Dalarna. Vasaloppet, a cross-country skiing race (the world's longest) of 90 km, takes place annually, usually on the first Sunday of March, between Sälen and Mora. It commemorates the ski-borne escape of Gustav Ericson, who would later become King Gustav I of Sweden, from Danish troops in 1520.
Football in the province is administered by Dalarnas Fotbollförbund. Brage and Dalkurd are examples of football teams in Dalarna. Ice hockey is also popular in Dalarna. The two ice hockey teams and rivals from Dalarna are Leksands IF and Mora IK, both frequently in the highest ice hockey division.
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