Published: December 23, 2017
God jul, alla! Merry Christmas, everybody!
Swedish jul is celebrated primarily on December 24, known as julafton, which means Christmas Eve. Church attendance in Sweden has fallen sharply in the last century, so the most common Swedish Christmas tradition is not attending church but rather watching Kalle Anka (literally, Donald Duck; this is the catch-all Swedish term for old Disney cartoons). A one-hour Kalle Anka T.V. program is shown on national television, beginning at 3 p.m. on December 24, and nearly the whole country tunes in to watch.
Other Swedish Christmas traditions include eating sill (pickled herring), skinka (ham), and risgrinsgröt (rice pudding) and making pappershjärtor (paper hearts) to hang on the julgran (Christmas tree). Whether you celebrate Christmas like a Swede, like an American, or not at all, we hope you’re having a lovely holiday season!