Most Popular Swedish Traditions & Celebrations

Midsummer - Swedish traditions and celebrations
Swedish traditions and celebrations (photo: Carolina Romare, Imagebank Sweden)

Swedes don’t miss any opportunity to celebrate their traditions. The five most common ones are Easter, the Swedish National Day, midsummer, the crayfish party and Christmas.

More about Swedish culture & quirks, read the book How to be Swedish – A Quick Guide to Swedishness – in 55 Steps”, here on Amazon


Påsk, easter

Swedish Easter Traditions
Swedish Easter traditions – (photo credit: Lena Granefelt/imagebank.sweden.se)

When: March/April

Why: Celebration of the resurrection of Jesus

What’s special in Sweden:

  • Decorative, neon colored feathers everywhere
  • Children ringing att your doorbell, dressed as witches (girls and boys), requesting candy
  • A special easter-soda/-most, called påskmust

More about Swedish Easter traditions, here


National Day of Sweden

National Day of Sweden Celebrations - King of Sweden in Växjö
National Day of Sweden celebrations – King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Silvia visiting Växjö in 2017

When: June 6

Why: Swedes celebrate it in memory of the election of the nations founding father, Gustav Vasa, on June 6th, 1523.

What’s special:

  • Originally, the sixth of June was svenska flaggens dag, Swedish flag day. Only as early as in 1983 it became the National Day of Sweden. In 2005 it was officially declared a public holiday. In recent years, the celebration of Sweden’s National Day has become increasingly popular.
  • Swedish flags everywhere.

More about Sweden’s Nationa Day, here


Midsommar, midsummer

Mittsommar in Schweden - midsommar
Midsummer in Sweden/Mittsommer in Schweden

When: late June, the Friday between June 19 and June 25

Why: Celebration of fertility, summer solstice/the beginning of Summer

Main characteristics:

  • The celebration of fertility is ofthen taken quiet literally
  • (Mostly) women wear a decorative midsommar krans, midsummer wreath/flower crowns
  • Dancing like small frogs around the midsummer pole (phallus symbol)

More about Swedish midsummer traditions, here


Kräftskiva, crayfish party

Swedish crayfish party
Swedish crayfish party – (photo credit: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se)

When: August

Why: Originally, Swedes celebrated the end of the traditional annual ban on fishing for crustaceans between 1st of November and the first Wednesday in August. Since 1994 there is no ban anymore. No reason for Swedes to stop celebrating.

Main characteristics:

  • Outdoor celebration
  • Sticky, smelly fingers (mostly from peeling the crayfish)
  • Funny hats

More about Swedish crayfish parties, here


Christmas in Sweden

Swedish Christmas food
Swedish Christmas food – (Photocredit: Carolina Romare/imagebank.sweden.se)

When: Christmas eve (exchange of Christmas gifts): December 24; December 25 and 26, first and second Christmas day.

Why: Celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus

Main characteristics:

  • The whole family gathering in front of the TV at 15.00 to watch Kalle Anka, Donald Duck
  • Glögg, mulled wine
  • Pepparkakor, gingerbread

More about a typical Swedish Christmas celebration, here


How Swedes celebrate their birthday, here.

 

Book with Swedish traditions and cultural quirks: How to be Swedish (on Amazon)

 

More about Swedish traditions

 

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