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
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
When: June 6
Why: Swedes celebrate it in memory of the election of the nations founding father, Gustav Vasa, on June 6th, 1523.
- 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 National Day, here
When: late June, the Friday between June 19 and June 25
Why: Celebration of fertility, summer solstice/the beginning of Summer
- 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
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.
- Outdoor celebration
- Sticky, smelly fingers (mostly from peeling the crayfish)
- Funny hats
More about Swedish crayfish parties, here
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
- 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