While a Swedish Christmas may be a little different from the Christmases you are used to, Christmas in Sweden is no less special and the country’s Christmas traditions can be very inviting. Here are some tips and information you may need for your first Swedish Christmas.
The Christmas traditions
Before making a trip to Sweden over the holiday season, its best to be familiar with the local traditions so that you aren’t caught off guard. Unlike little boys and girls elsewhere, it isn’t Santa that everyone is expecting to see on Christmas eve. In Sweden Tomte the Christmas gnome makes an appearance and visits families and hands out gifts and shares Christmas rhymes. Instead of tinsel and baubles, Swedish Christmas trees are decorated with flowers, candles, apples and small gnomes and everyone enjoys gingerbread cookies and coffee.
What to see
There are several popular holidays shows to see with the most popular being the Christmas Concert in Uppsala and the Christmas calendar show in Stockholm. However, while these performances are spectacular and have been around since the 1300s, only some of them are in English. So, if the language is an issue you can always attend the Lucia Procession.
Saint Lucia was a 3rd-century saint who aided Christians and Saint Lucia Day (13th December) marks the beginning of the festive season. The procession is similar to a parade where damsels dressed as St Lucia and children dressed as angels walk the main street and sing carols. There are also plenty of Christmas goodies like gingerbread and spiced wine for sale along the way.
What to do
In Stockholm, at night you can walk the city and see the many Christmas light displays that are set up throughout the city. Be sure to stop by the ice skating rink where every Christmas the rink at Kungstradgarden opens to the public.
This open-air rink is right in front of Royal Park where you can finish your Christmas shopping and its also right next to the Christmas market. Here you can skate your heart out in the fresh night air and settle down with a hot mug of delicious hot chocolate as you listen to carolers nearby.