Christmas in Scandinavia
The Saint Lucia ceremony takes place on December 13. Did you know that Swedish Christmas home decorations include red tulips? Christmas Eve is known as Julafton in Swedish. After the festive Christmas Eve dinner, someone dresses up as Tomte (Christmas gnome) who is believed to live under floorboards, although the fairytales are beginning to lose their footing amid all the now-typical commercial Santa figures.
The Christmas season then goes on through Epiphany on January 6 all the way to Hilarymas, another winter holiday which officially concludes the Swedish holiday season.
Continue reading: Christmas Traditions in Sweden!
2- Christmas in Denmark:
Be careful! In Denmark, the mischievous, small Danish elf Nisse plays pranks on people during Christmastime. On Christmas Eve, many Danish families leave some rice pudding or porridge for him so that he is nice to them. Children are not allowed to see the Christmas tree until dinner time on Christmas Eve (known as Juleaften) and parents decorate it secretly with home-made baubles.
Continue reading: Christmas Traditions in Denmark!
Norway also has an elf called Nisse, but with the features of a goat (Julebukk in Norwegian.) The idea of Julebukk is a very old one and was probably known by the Vikings. There is a special Norwegian holiday cookie called Sand Kager. In the afternoons, children go from door to door to ask for treats and goodies.
Continue reading: Christmas Traditions in Norway!
4- Christmas in Finland:
When you spend Christmas in Finland, you will see that Finland shares some of its Scandinavian Christmas traditions with its neighbor Sweden - but then there are Christmas traditions in Finland that you'd never guess! A tip: Finnish sauna, anyone?
Continue reading: Christmas in Finland!
5- Christmas in Iceland:
Iceland has many old traditions during Christmastime. Expect no fewer than 13 Icelandic Santa Clauses! The origin of these "Santas" is centuries old, and each has its own name, character and role. A special custom for Icelandic children is to put a shoe in the window from December 12 until Christmas Eve. If they have been good, one of Iceland's "Santas" leaves a gift - bad children receive a potato!
Continue reading: Christmas Traditions in Iceland!
6- Christmas in Greenland:
While geographically not a part of Scandinavia per se, Greenland is a Danish territory and shares many Christmas traditions with the other Scandinavian countries. Did you know that Greenland has to import all Christmas trees, and includes whale skin in the traditional Christmas celebrations?
Continue reading: Christmas in Greenland!
The Month of December:
As part of your holiday travels, you should also consider what happens in December outside of the Christmas holidays and celebrations - e.g. what to expect from the weather, which kind of clothing to pack, or when the national holidays are. Learn about Scandinavia in December and Holidays & Festivals occurring each year. If you're staying home but still want a piece of Scandinavian Christmas, take a look at the top 10 Scandinavian gift ideas!