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In Sweden, Knut is considered the final day of the Christmas season. Knut was a Danish prince who was murdered on 7 January 1131 by his cousin. In 1169, thanks to his influential relatives, he was canonized by the Pope. By the end of the 1600s the name day of Knut was changed from the Epiphany […]

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Trettondagen literally means “day 13” and is the thirteenth day after Christmas, i.e. January 6th. Known in English as the Epiphany, it commemorates the revelation of Jesus as the Son of God, and when the Three Wise Men came to the Manger in Bethlehem. In Sweden it is a red day (an official holiday) with […]

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God Jul – Merry Christmas

Despite the fact it’s extremely dark in Sweden during December, in my opinion, it is a really lovely time to be here. The season is full of Christmas lights, the julbord, glögg, seven kinds of cookies, and complete with dancing around the Christmas tree holding hands. The celebration essentially lasts from the First of Advent […]

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Kanelbullens dag – cinnamon bun day

Every year on October 4th it’s Kanelbullens dag in Sweden. Time to break out the flour, yeast, and cinnamon, or buy kanelbullar (KUH-neel-BOO-lahr) at your favorite bakery. They are so entrenched in Swedish culture that you will even find them in gas station quick marts and in “convenient” little bags to go. But unlike in […]

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Nationaldagen – national day (June 6) and the national cake no one seems to know about

Sweden was one of the last countries to adopt a national day. Nationaldagen is the 6th of June and only became a red day (a day off from work) in 2005. There aren’t a lot of food associations with this particular holiday and many people in Sweden are surprised to learn there is actually a […]

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Mors dag – mother’s day

Although mother’s have been celebrated throughout history in various ways, the modern idea of Mother’s Day is imported from the U.S. where it was first celebrated in 1908. Mother’s day in Sweden was championed by author Cecilia Bååth-Holmberg to be the last Sunday in May when there would be flowers and greenery nearly throughout the […]

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Kristi himmelsfärdsdag – Ascension day

Spring in Sweden brings a succession of holidays starting with Easter, moving on to Valborgsmässoafton, and this week’s Kristi himmelsfärdsdag, or Ascension Day which is 40 days after Easter when Jesus ascended into heaven. In Sweden it has a strong connection to nature and signals the hope of warmer weather. 

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photo by Britt-Marie Sohlström, April 30, 2011 in Böle, Jamtland, Sweden We are coming to the close of another long weekend. The last one was for Easter and this time it’s Valborgsmässoafton on April 30th. It’s a song, speech, and bonfire-filled ringing in of spring named for Saint Walburga. And it flows right into the […]

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Glad påsk – Happy Easter

In southern Sweden Easter is a welcoming of spring whereas in northern Sweden it’s still winter. But throughout Sweden Påsk (pohsk) means even more time off than at Christmas since the Friday preceding Easter Sunday and the Monday after are both official holidays. In addition, many people only work a half day on Thursday so for […]

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Waffles + The Annunciation = Waffle Day

March 25th is Waffle Day in Sweden and it coincides with Marie bebådelsedag, or the day of The Annunciation. Why? Largely because of variations in the Swedish dialect.

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