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Christmas Traditions in Sweden: An Enchanting Mosaic of Culture and Warmth

Christmas in Sweden is a magical celebration that combines age-old traditions, a festive atmosphere and a touch of modernity. This Nordic country, rich in history and culture, offers a unique and unforgettable Christmas experience. The Christmas holidays begin in Sweden as early as December, bringing with them a host of traditions that fill the streets with twinkling lights and homes with warmth and affection.



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Christmas in Sweden



Lights and decorations


One of the most iconic features of Swedish Christmas is the lighting.

Cities and villages light up with twinkling lights, creating a welcoming and atmospheric atmosphere. The wreath of Christmas lights, called "Julkrans", is often hung on the doors of houses, while the windows are adorned with lanterns and candles. The lights are a symbol of hope and light in a winter season characterized by long nights.


Julkrans


The Christmas markets


Christmas markets are a much-loved tradition in Sweden.

The city squares are transformed into real Christmas villages, with stalls offering artisan products, gifts and culinary specialities. People flock to the markets to buy unique gifts and enjoy Christmas delicacies such as "lussekatt", a saffron-based dessert, and "glögg", a hot spiced wine-based drink.


Christmas markets


Swedish Santa Claus


In Sweden, Santa Claus is known as "Tomten". It is said that Tomten lives on a farm and distributes gifts on Christmas Eve. Tradition dictates that children place a plate of rice pudding outside for Tomten, as a sign of gratitude for his generosity.


Tomten


Christmas eve


Christmas Eve, called "Julafton", is the highlight of the holidays in Sweden.

The tradition includes a family dinner, often consisting of typical specialties such as "julskinka", Christmas ham and "prinskorv", Christmas sausages. Fish dishes are traditional in Swedish Christmas dinner. Those that absolutely cannot be missed are the "sill" is a type of marinated herring, while the "gravad lax" is salmon marinated with sugar, salt and pepper.

The table is decorated with candles and Christmas decorations, and the dinner ends with the tasting of desserts such as "risgrynsgröt", rice porridge. A tradition associated with this dish is to hide an almond in the porridge, and whoever finds it is considered lucky. The traditional Christmas drink called "glögg" is a kind of spicy hot wine, often enriched with dried fruit and almonds. It is consumed to warm up during the cold winter nights.


Julafton


The church and midnight mass


Sweden, despite having become an increasingly secularized society, maintains a strong tradition of attending midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Many people go to church to participate in religious services, listen to Christmas music and share a sense of community during this spiritual holiday.


Decorations of midnight mass


Traditional songs


Traditional Christmas carols, known as "julsånger" in Swedish, are an important part of Christmas celebrations in Sweden. These songs help create a festive atmosphere and can be heard at religious events, Christmas markets and family gatherings.

These Christmas carols help keep cultural and spiritual traditions alive during the Christmas season in Sweden, creating bonds between generations and conveying a sense of warmth and community.


Julsånger


The Christmas dance


A tradition that involves the whole family is the "dans kring granen" or "the dance around the tree". During Christmas Eve, the family gathers around the decorated Christmas tree and dances together singing Christmas songs. This tradition creates a special and festive moment, helping to unite family members even more.


Dans kring granen


In conclusion, Christmas in Sweden is a blend of old and new traditions, a time when families come together to celebrate love, joy and generosity. With its unique customs, Sweden offers an unforgettable Christmas experience, intertwining the traditions of the past with the vitality of the present.


To continue discovering more hidden gems and captivating destinations, stay tuned for more articles on our website. Follow us @thewalkingparrot to be continuously updated on new releases and join us as we embark on new adventures. We will be back soon with a new article!



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