In Sweden, Christmas begins on December 13 with the celebration of St. Lucia Day, also known as the Festival of Lights. It is a celebration of a strong woman, named Lucia who lived a long time ago and brought light to the cold Swedish winter. Her name actually means "light." Some believe she glowed and had a halo.
December 13 is believed to be the longest and darkest night in Sweden. St. Lucia brings light on this dark day.
On this day, the oldest girl in the family dresses up as St. Lucia in a white dress with a wreath of candles on her head. She serves coffee and saffron buns or ginger cookies to her parents.
A traditional song is sung:
Santa Lucia, thy light is glowing
Through darkest winter night, comfort bestowing.
Dreams float on dreams tonight,
Comes then the morning light,
Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia.
In some towns and schools, a girl is chosen to represent St. Lucia in a procession. She is dressed in a long white dress with a large red sash. Upon her head she wears a crown of green leaves and seven glowing candles. In her hands she carries a tray of little saffron flavoured buns called lussekatts. She is followed by younger girls, also in white, carrying candles and boys in tall pointed hats.
Christmas presents in Sweden are known as "Christmas knocks"
(julklapp). The name originates from the way Christmas presents were delivered many years ago. To deliver your present on Christmas night, you would tiptoe up to the door of the recipient, knock hard and then throw the present inside, without being seen.
Presents are given out on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.
Christmas dinner is eaten on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day. They eat a lot of pork (pig). They eat boiled pork sausage, pork brawn, cold roast spare ribs and pigs trotters.
Father Christmas is called Jultomten in Sweden.
Swedish children remember that Jesus lay in a manger of straw, so they make many of their Christmas decorations from straw.
Twenty days after Christmas, people in Sweden dance Christmas out. They call it "Julgrans plundring". They invite friends round to their homes and have a party.
My vote is to have Christmas traditions all year round. You see at
Christmas time most people at least the ones I have met, always change just a
little for the better around Christmas. I do not know whether or not it is the
great yuletide Christmas carols, the festive atmosphere everywhere you go, or just some
hidden part in all of us that screams out, (I BELIEVE IN MORE THAN WHAT I SEE AROUND ME.) You see, somewhere deep down inside we all
believe in something better than we now have or see, and most of
us feel a lot better when we help someone. Whether the person is
in need or not, this feeling is what I call the feeling of
Christmas, and we all should strive to feel this way all year long.
The feeling of the Christmas holidays is truly all about family, friends and celebrating all things good.
The Lord's birthday is swiftly coming
Christmas carols we're merrily humming,
Adoration and harmony spreads worldwide
As we eagerly await the happy Yuletide.
Enhance your Christmas, with Christmas poems
and stories highlighted with your favorite Christmas carols.
Christmas traditions are fast becoming a family way of life.
Poems are a simple way of inspiring others to join in on the Christmas
traditions that love and poems bring to this Christmas holiday.