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Socially Distanced Gingerbread at Baking Contest Illustrates Sweden's Pandemic Year

Two gingerbread figures sitting apart on a bench to illustrate social distancing are seen during the annual gingerbread baking competition at Arkdes Museum of Architecture and Design in Stockholm, Sweden December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Philip O'Connor

Two gingerbread figures sitting apart on a bench to illustrate social distancing are seen during the annual gingerbread baking competition at Arkdes Museum of Architecture and Design in Stockholm, Sweden December 7, 2020. REUTERS/Philip O'Connor

With a laptop on his sleigh, Santa chatted on Skype to three piglets in one creation, while another showed Greta Thunberg with her school strike for climate placard at Stockholm's Arlanda airport, alongside planes grounded by the virus.

With the theme of distance, this year's gingerbread house baking competition in Sweden was bound to feature coronavirus restrictions one way or another.

But some of the nation's bakers found eye-catching ways to illustrate the year of the pandemic.

With a laptop on his sleigh, Santa chatted on Skype to three piglets in one creation, while another showed Greta Thunberg with her school strike for climate placard at Stockholm's Arlanda airport, alongside planes grounded by the virus.

The exhibition, usually thronged with wide-eyed children and adults marvelling at the culinary creations, is normally held at Sweden's Museum of Architecture and Design but was moved online due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Others entries displayed in the three-dimensional scans created by the organisers showed lighthouses, the planets of the solar system or online calls between grandparents and grandchildren.

One baker reproduced the head of Sweden's Chief Epidemiologist Anders Tegnell - widely seen as the architect of the country's light-touch pandemic strategy - five times.

The reason, the baker explained, was that he wanted to be sure to get the social distancing message across.