So this blog post is gonna be a bit unconventional. I'm gonna mix it up a bit! I am sure all of you are just getting so excited for Christmas... So, today I am going to be informing you all about what Christmas is like in a the wonderful and weird land of Sweden.
Starting on the first Sunday of December Swedes start the long awaited countdown to Christmas! Most families have a little candle holder on their tables with 4 tall candles. Each Sunday is one advent (The first Sunday being called First Advent and so on...) and on each Sunday you light a Candle! So then the first week the first candle burns and by the last week all four are burning. You are going to find a common theme here that Swedes are obsessed with candles. I think it has something to do with the fact that we only get 5 hours of sunlight and the sun is usually blocked by clouds!
On the 13th of December there is a day celebrated by the Swedish Church called Santa Lucia. Santa means Saint! Bascially, Santa Lucia is a saint who brings light to the dark land of Sweden. Therefore, she is represented as a woman in white robes wearing a very nifty candle hat. She basically has like 7 candles on her head. (Remember the obsession with candles?) It is really cool because all of the churches do little concerts and sing special songs about Santa Lucia! I went to one at Adolf Fredriks Kyrka in Östermalmstorg. It was presented by little kids and they were all very talented.
Throughout Jul time Swedes love to snack on a type of gingerbread called Pepparkakor and eat lots of Clementine oranges. There is also this special drink called Julmust that everyone is obsessed over. It is seriously cheaper than water and Swedes drink it like it is going out of style. Swedes and most missionaries love it, but I think it is kind of weird!
Swedes have a big Christmas feast called Julbord. But, this isn't just any old turkey or ham being served... instead they eat seal! Yes, that cuddly little animal is being eaten up around Scandinavia. But that's not all folks! There is also a large selection of caviar, fish potatoes, and various jams to wash it all down! I am also pretty sure there will be lots of Jul must.
Jul is celebrated on the 24th. Swedes like to have their holidays so open to relaxation that they don't even celebrate them on the actual day! So on Christmas, which is really Christmas Eve, they do all the present opening after the Julbord feast! In Sweden Santa Clause is Jultomten but if you ask me I think Jultomten is a really scary creature and I dont want him to visit me in the night. (Look at the pic of me dressed like Jultomten and tell me it isnt scary!)
Extra Extra! Christmas Goat
A very traditional little ornament is a Christmas goat (Julbock) made out of straw! I guess it has some traditional symbolism though. According to Swedish lore, Jultomten rides a goat when he delivers presents! So there you have it :)
Anyways, I wish you all a God Jul! Dont forget to put the Christ in Christmas! And keep on spreading the He is the Gift video! #DelaGåvan