How to Celebrate a Scandinavian Style Christmas

Scandinavian ChristmasChristmas in most Scandinavian countries, in many respects, follows a pattern yet each country has its own set of customs and traditions that lend the festival a definite individuality.

Thus, although customs differ from state to state, there are certain essentials of the Christmas celebration that are quite similar to all the Scandinavian countries. In these countries, Christmas is just the beginning of a time of celebration - a season of hospitality and visiting. During these many days of celebration, to dispel the gloom of the never-ending twilight of winter, the Scandinavians light thousands of candles.

Here are some handy hints to celebrate Christmas the way the Scandinavians do.

A few tips

  1. Begin the celebrations with the Saint Lucia ceremony, which takes place on December 13th. Lucia was a Christian virgin who sacrificed herself for her devout faith in Christianity on December 13th 304 A.D. The Swedish holiday ceremony is held in her honor.
  2. Have the youngest daughter (some say the oldest) of the family put on a white robe with a red sash and wear a crown of evergreens with tall-lighted candles attached to it. Allow her to be followed by the ’star children,’ ‘bakers’ or ‘bridesmaids’ while she wakes you up in the morning and serves ‘Lucia buns’ and coffee to you.
  3. Celebrate the arrival of Advent by decorating the whole house with wreaths and bursts of light. Decorate the Christmas tree using straw and wooden ornaments and lots and lots of light, preferably candles.
  4. Celebrate Christmas Eve as a day when no work should be done because this is the day of the Christmas feast. In ancient times, on this day, angels would come during the Christmas feast to hide lucky barley stalks around the house.
  5. Beware of Julnisse, the mischievous elf who lives in the attic and plays jokes on every one. He has now amassed a large army comprising of a group of gnomes who come on Christmas Eve to bring gifts to good children.


  • Cook a scrumptious Christmas dinner that includes Lutefisk, sausage and Christmas cakes and cookies.


  • Don’t copy all traditions or you will end up working hard and having no fun at all.

2 Comments about “How to Celebrate a Scandinavian Style Christmas”

  1. beth Says:

    HEY EVERYONE! Check out the new Holiday Single from David Martin called “Fa La La La In Love.” I was browsing the web last week when I stumbled across this single. His voice is amazing and his sound reminds me of Maroon 5. I think this guy is going to be real big and you’re hearing it first!

  2. Ogie Says:

    Gleðilig Jól

    It was fun reading about your traditions.

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