~ How do you say Merry Christmas in Sweden ?"God Jul" ~


Christmas in Sweden is a special time of year with millions of lights aglow and festivities planned for a full month-long celebration to help dispel an otherwise dark, gloomy winter.

In Sweden, festivities usually begin with the lighting of the first of four Advent candles in homes across the country, followed by the annual must-see December 1 airing of a popular national television holiday entertainment special, "Julkalendar".

Yet another Swedish tradition arrives on December 13, honoring St. Lucia, featuring a young girl dressed in a lighted candle crown, leading a parade of children for Lucia Day festivities. It also celebrated with traditional songs and treats such as pepparkator (gingerbread cookies) and lussekatter (saffron buns).

And soon comes the biggest day of all - Christmas Eve - when families gather for carol singing, the arrival of Tomten (Father Christmas) and a huge holiday smorgasbord of Swedish meatballs, sausages and cold meats, lutfisk and other fish dishes.



Glögg (mulled wine) is another festive part of the celebration. Also served is the traditional Jul grot or Christmas porridge containing one hidden almond, which promises good fortune to any family member lucky enough to find it!