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Dgreetings » Gift Ideas » Christmas Gifts » Christmas Around the World » Sweden

Christmas Celebrations in Sweden

In Sweden, Christmas celebrations last for almost two months. It all starts on Advent. As in many other countries in northern Europe, Santa Claus brings the presents on Christmas Eve, the day generally thought of as Christmas.
Saint Lucy Day (Luciadagen)
Celebrations kick off before Christmas itself on St. Lucy Day. Also known as the St. Lucia's Day, it is celebrated on December 13 th . According to tradition the eldest daughter of the family is required to wear a white robe and a wreath. Once she is all dressed up, according to custom she is required to serve the family St. Lucia buns and coffee in bed. Boys are involved as helpers.

Christmas Food in Sweden
As with anywhere else in the world, Christmas in Sweden is a time for much feasting and food does take the forefront in this north European country. Almost all Swedish families celebrate Christmas on December 24 with a Christmas smörgåsbord more commonly known as a julbord. What is common in all julbord is the julskinka (baked ham), but there are also other common dishes such as meatballs, pickled herring, square ribs, lutfisk, pork sausage, Janssons frestelse (grated potatoes, onion, anchovy and cream), and rice pudding. The Christmas julbord is served with beer or julmust (quite similar to root beer) and schnapps, the dishes of the julbord may vary throughout Sweden. Employees are invited for a julbord dinner or lunch in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It is also common for people to go to restaurants which offer julbord. Julbord meals are extremely popular.

Examples of candies and treats associated with Christmas are toffee, fruit, nuts, figs, chocolate, dates and marzipan. Another Scandinavian specialty is the glögg (mulled and spiced wine with almonds and raisins), which is served hot in small cups. After the traditional Christmas feast of julbord, Father Christmas distributes gifts. In the afternoon at three o' clock, all activities are suspended as children gather around the television to watch the Disney Christmas special "From All Of Us To All Of You.” They are very fond of Kalle Anka (Donald Duck).

Christmas Day
The Christmas celebrations in Sweden end with Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, a few people can be found attending julottan, an early morning Christmas mass. The Christmas decorations and the tree are taken off on Boxing “Day which the Swedes don't celebrate and that marks the end of Christmas festivities for Sweden.

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