In Sweden, Christmas lasts almost two months! The Christmas celebration in Sweden begins on the first Sunday in December, which is Advent. On this Sunday, families in Sweden light one candle. Then, on each Sunday in December, they light another candle. Christmas finally ends on January 13 when people take their Christmas trees down. In between, though, the Swedes have many celebrations that are different from a typical American Christmas.
Fun Facts About Christmas in Sweden for Kids
- December 13 is Saint Lucia day. Lucia was a young girl who was killed for her religious beliefs in 304 A.D. She is loved because she took food to the Christians who were hiding in the catacombs under Rome. At that time, Christians were hated and often killed for their beliefs.
- On St. Lucia day, the oldest girl in each home dresses in a white dress with a red sash. She wears a crown on her head with candles. She brings coffee and buns to her family for breakfast. Often, a community will choose a girl to be St. Lucia. She walks at the front of an Advent procession or visits hospitals and schools.
- Families in Sweden decorate Christmas trees. They often make straw ornaments to remind them of Jesus in his manger.
- Children open their presents on December 24. On Christmas Day, families go to church.
- At 3:00 on Christmas Eve, almost everyone in Sweden stops to watch an American television show, “From All of Us to All of You,” which is a Disney show featuring Donald Duck.
- Families enjoy a big feast on Christmas Eve. They eat platters of cold fish, cheese, meatballs, rice pudding and other yummy treats.
- The day after Christmas is Stephen’s Day after the patron saint of animals. Farmers give their animals extra food on this day.
Christmas in Sweden Vocabulary
- Lucia: a young Christian martyr. Her name means light and she wore a crown of candles so her hands would be free to carry food.
- Catacombs: tunnels and caves
- Procession: parade
All About Christmas in Sweden Video for Kids
This is the best video we found for kids to learn about Christmas in Sweden:
Christmas in Sweden Q&A
Question: Does Santa visit the children in Sweden?
Answer: Swedish children call Santa Jultomten. They believe he looks something like a gnome crossed with our Santa Clause.
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