It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as the Christmas carols claim. In Sweden however, that is just a factual statement. You may have noticed Christmas decorations in stores since the end of September, so you can be sure that this holiday is taken seriously here. The Grinch would not be very jolly about this, so grab your favorite who from Whoville and enjoy these activities with them this holiday season!
Here in Sweden, we get very few hours of daylight around this time of year. It’s wonderful nonetheless, thanks to a couple of vitamin D tablets and a lot of beautiful Christmas lights around the city.
Every year 40 locations in Stockholm are decorated with beautiful reindeer, mistletoe, angels, and lighted Christmas trees. The full list of decorated areas can be found here, and a map of them can be downloaded here in both English and Swedish.
A Christmas Market is an absolute must around the holidays. It is a highly valued tradition where everyone is welcome. At these markets, you can buy a plethora of items such as candies, sausages & venison, crafts, mulled wine, cotton candy, ceramics, and much much more. If you have been missing your Christmas spirit this holiday season, you can take a trip to these markets and be sure to find it.
Here are some Christmas markets:
Stortorget (open daily between 11 AM - 6 PM, 20th - November - 23rd December) A Christmas market in Stockholm’s Old Town’s heart of hearts. It started in 1807, which makes it Stockholm’s oldest Christmas market.
ABF-huset Entry floor , Sveavägen 41 (open 10AM - 4PM, 4th - 5th December) where you can buy nice Christmas presents and at the same time support organizations and companies that work to make the world fairer.
Skansen (open 10 AM - 4 PM, 26th November - 19th December) Skansen has an entry fee. If you go to Skansen you might as well go on the 11th or 12th of December when they have their Lucia celebrations. More information about Skansen’s prices can be found in the Lucia section of the article.
Drottningholms slott (open 10AM - 5PM, 10AM - 4PM on Sundays, 4th - 5th December) Where you can also find “Teaterboden - Unique shop in an 18th-century environment” which has lots of decorations and Christmas presents for all ages and in all price ranges.
Tessinparken (open 10 AM - 3 PM, 4th December, and 11th December) This is a Christmas farmers market with locally sourced fruits, vegetables, meat, and cheese, there will also be crafts available, made from leather and wool.
Nynäshamns Fiskehamn, (open 11AM - 4PM, 4th - 5th December) This last one is an honorable mention due to how far it is from the city, the Christmas market in Nynäshamn
Living Advent Calendar
The citizens of Stockholm have taken advent calendars one step further with the Living Advent Calendar. Each day of December leading up to Christmas, a window somewhere in Stockholm's Old Town will open at 6:15 PM (on Christmas Eve, it opens at 11:30 AM) and one or more heads (attached to an entertainer, don’t worry) will pop out and offer 15 minutes of delight. To find out where these will be each day you follow the addresses and map here.
Lucia may be an Italian saint, but Swedes have claimed her as one of their own. The celebrations on 13th December commemorate Lucia of Syracuse, who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the Roman catacombs, wearing a candle-lit wreath on her head to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible. Before the calendar reform, the celebrations were on the shortest day of the year.
Here at the S-Chapter our choir, l’Sqling, traditionally have their Lucia concert. l’Sqling includes many international students who sing in Swedish, English, and sometimes other languages as well. This year it will be on the 9th of December at 6 PM in L1 (address: Brinellvägen 1). The concert is followed by this year’s Christmas pub.
You can enjoy a very Swedish tradition with the THS choir, Osqstämman, a full Lucia train with traditional Swedish songs. Afterward, they will continue with a concert as international as their choir. This year it will be on the 17th December at 7 PM in Markuskyrkan (Malmövägen 51). Their information can be found on their Facebook event.
Between 10th and 13th December, there are several shows for the Lucia celebrations at S:t Jacobs Church (Västra Trädgårdsgatan 2). Ticket prices start from SEK 72 for students under 25 years old and vary depending on the seats. Tickets for this Lucia concert are found here.
The Lucia celebration is one of the highlights of winter, and an ancient tradition. The first Lucia train at Skansen was held as early as 1893. Student entrance tickets for a visit from 26 November - 31 December 2021 cost SEK 200.
Lucia on the Sollidenscenen Saturday 11 December at 4 PM
Lucia concerts in Seglora church Saturday 11 December Stockholm University Choir Choir Sunday 12 December Kong. Teknolog Choir Both days are at 11 AM, 1 PM, and 2:30 PM.
Lucia as in the 1920s in Ordenshuset Brofästet Saturday 11 December and Sunday 12 December. Both days at 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3 PM.
Lucia train at Skansen On Monday 13 December, the park will be gilded by a walking Lucia train from Sollentuna Music Classes. They are on-site throughout the day.
It’s worth mentioning that student admission tickets for a visit on Christmas Eve 24th December 2021 cost SEK 80 You don’t get to enjoy the Lucia celebrations but you get to see Skansen for a lot cheaper. Tickets can be found here.
Last, but not least, Lucia in S:t Clara Church (Klara Östra kyrkogata 7-9) on 12th December 4 PM and 6 PM as well as on 13th December 6 PM and 8 PM, the church holds a free first come first serve Lucia concert. They open the doors 20 minutes before the show. You can donate to charity there which will be used for those in need in Stockholm. For those of you who cannot go, they will broadcast the concert on Monday 13 Dec at 18.00 via Facebook.
Ice skating in Kungsträdgården
How about a magical ice skating evening? Skating in a beautifully decorated area, gracefully under the moonlight, since it’s always night, it for sure seems like a scene from the fairytales (or wobbling unbelievably ungracefully if you are anything like me). The current ice rink has been in place since 1962. You can rent skates until one hour before closing time, and helmets are included in the price. Music plays as you glide across the ice, creating a wonderful ambiance.
Opening hours for skate rental:
Monday – Friday from 9 AM to 8 PM
Saturday – Sunday 10 AM to 8 PM
The ice rink closes at 9 PM
Skate rental, 1 hour
Adults SEK 70
Children/youth up to and including 19 years SEK 30
Grinding of own skates SEK 100
Padlock SEK 30
Socks SEK 150