Friday, 20 December 2013

Christmas

I'm feeling uncharacteristically cheerful about Christmas this year. Having thought that I wasn't going to be able to go home, I actually am. And quite honestly, the idea of not being able to spend Christmas with my family made me realise how much I actually appreciate those five days spent in captivity.

So to follow a trend, here are:

Seven things about Swedish Christmas


1. Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve.

2. They eat ham, not a turkey.

3. They have a Christmas... goat.



4. Swedes have a Christmas Menora. Originally a pagan tradition, it was stolen by the Christians, who claimed that each light represented one of the days of the creation of the Universe (there are seven candles). 

5. Each Sunday of Advent is very big event. Friends and/or family get together, light candles, eat and drink mulled wine. But some important advice, don't be fooled by anyone who tells you that it isn't going to be a formal event and don't listen to them when they tell you there will be drinking. For a few hours you're going to sit around a beautifully dressed table eating equally beautiful food, sipping mulled wine from miniature teacups and struggling to understand what anyone is saying. Then you'll watch the Christmas Calendar.

6. The Christmas Calendar. A cult television series which screens only in December and works a little bit like an advent calendar. Cult, except that everyone watches it. Each day you get a 15 minute episode which adds to the story of the previous day and by the time you reach December 24, the story is complete.

7. Dancing around the Christmas tree. It looks a bit like this, only indoors, around a Christmas tree. And everyone does it. 



And a cheeky bonus number 8. Merry Christmas in Swedish is 'God Jul'. Jul pronounced like the English 'Yule' (and God pronounced like God.) 

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