Friday, December 9, 2016

Day Three- Christmas in Sweden

Christmas is celebrated in three main stages in Sweden.

Stage one: St. Lucia's Day, December 13th.

This is the year that I dressed up as
St. Lucia. :)
St. Lucia's day is honoring a girl named Lucia who was killed for her faith in 304. Legend has it that she secretly brought food to Roman Christians who were being persecuted. She would wear candles on her head to light her path so that her hands could be free.

So now, to celebrate St. Lucia's Day, the oldest daughter will get up VERY early in the morning, dress in white robes and a red sash, with candles on her head. She, accompanied by the rest of the children, will bring their parents coffee and 'lussekatts' (St. Lucia day buns).
Some schools and towns have St. Lucia Day plays and processions.

Stage two: Christmas Eve, December 24th.

The main meal of the season (a lunchtime buffet) includes...
-Cold fish; herring or salmon
-Cold meat; turkey, beef, and ham
-Other cold things like: cheese, live pate, salads, pickles, bread and butter
-Hot food: meatballs, sausages, meat stuffed cabbage rolls, pigs feet, lutfisk, pork ribs, potatoes
-Red cabbage
-Dessert: sweet pastries
-Drink: 'glogg' a sweet mulled wine, and coffee
-Rice porridge

Following the food, a family member dresses up as a Santa gnome 'tomte'. Tomte lives under the floorboards and rides a straw goat. Tomte also brings the presents on Christmas Eve.
At 3:00 pm, the family gathers for watching Donald Duck!

Stage three: 'Tjugondag Knut' (Twentieth Day of Christmas) on January 13th.

This is the day that the Christmas tree is taken down and all the leftover sweets are eaten. "Clean up day." :)

How to people in Sweden decorate for Christmas?
They decorate the tree with candles, apples, Swedish flags, gnomes, and straw ornaments. They have straw goats made of straw in the house to guard the tree, and decorate with lots of straw to remind them of how Jesus was born in a stable.

In the city of Gavle, a huge straw goat is built for the start of Advent. It is 43 feet tall and takes 2 days to assemble!

'God Jul' (Merry Christmas) from Sweden! :)

1 comment:

  1. find the rest of this series here: