Once upon a time I wrote for this really cool site, Suite101. I did a whole series of articles about the History of Christmas in Western Europe. Suite 101 isn’t quite so cool as it used to be, so I thought I’d showcase my articles here, instead.
The central figure of Christmas in Sweden is St. Lucia, the patron saint of Light. St. Lucia’s Day on December 13 is celebrated in all of Scandinavia, but it is on a much grander scale in Sweden. Little girls dressed in white robes and special crowns of serve the family St. Lucia buns, made at Christmastime.
The Christmas tree was traditionally put up a few days before Christmas Eve. Candles, apples, Swedish flags, small gnomes with red hats and straw ornaments are all common decorations on a Swedish Christmas tree. December 26th is a day of socializing. Children’s parties are held in the afternoon, while adults parties are held later in the evening and animals are given extra food. On the Epiphany (Twelfth Night) villagers would dress up as biblical characters and sing hymns from home to home.
Originally published at Christmas in Scandinavia
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