Christmas time in Sweden – seen by an exchange student

12 december, 2019, 11:54 International, Kultur, Recension Lämna en kommentar

When I applied for my year abroad in Sweden, one of the things that I was really looking forward was Christmas time. I have always heard good things about this time of the year in Scandinavia – how cozy the houses get with all the decoration, all the tasty cookies, etc. During the dark November, I started to see the premises of Christmas time in the shops, and even in town, where some light decorations appeared. But it was nothing compared to December.

Let me introduce you to the Swedish way of celebrating Christmas, through the eyes of an exchange student.

Disclaimer: the point of this article is to see how an exchange student feels about Christmas in Sweden and what stands out at first sight. That is the reason why some information can miss or be approximative.

The first category of noticeable things is the Christmas decoration: when December shows up, so do the cozy paper stars on every window. While some houses (and even schools, offices or shops) might bear such stars, some others are ornamented with typical candelabra. I also happen to see a lot of these cute figurines called tomtar and representing bearded gnomes wearing big red hats.

Besides these Christmas-related decorations, a bunch of events also occur during December. First, some Christmas markets open in nice places such Dylta Bruk, or Wadköping. Inside these markets you can find a lot of crafts, such as for example candlesticks, wooden kitchen utensils, woolen socks and mittens, or also some pottery. You can of course have a taste of Sweden when trying some moose salami or Swedish cheese and marmalade. The second big event of Christmas time in Sweden is Lucia day. From what I heard about it, on every 13th of December, girls are dressing up as Lucia, an Italian saint, wearing a white tunic and lights in their hair, and everyone is parading and singing typical songs.

Finally, a lot of food seems to be related to Christmas time in Sweden. I can first talk about the tasty pepparkakor, those spicy cookies that you will for sure find in every grocery store during this month. I also eat a lot of lussekatter, these saffron brioches in a “S” shape that are ornamented with two dry grapes. During the ESN Farewell Dinner that took place during this month, I got the chance to try the famous julbord, this Christmas buffet where you can savour some meatballs, marinated fish, smoked salmon, potatoes, and a lot of other appetising dishes.

Moving on to typical Christmas drinks, I can first mention julmust, which is a soda that I see in every shopping cart during December. And finally, how not to talk about the amazing glögg, this spicy mulled wine that Swedes drink with some roasted almonds and dry grape inside.

Bonus: I also noticed that building ginger houses is also a tradition here, which is not without reminding me the Hansel and Gretel tale…

Anyway, that’s it for my Exchange-Student-Perspective-Swedish-Christmas-Review. I hope you exchange students learned a bit more about Christmas in Sweden, and that you Swedes enjoyed seeing your traditions reviewed by an alien.

And, most importantly, god jul!

Nicole Palm


Louise Montesuit


Recension: En koffeinfri vecka 

3 november, 2022, 14:37 Krönika, Recension, Lämna en kommentar

Nyckeln till att ta sig igenom långa föreläsningar och en tröstande axel att luta sig mot i intensiva tentaperioder. Studentens…

KRÖNIKA: Coming to Sweden for one semester

24 mars, 2022, 14:10 International, Krönika, Lämna en kommentar

Before I even got in university, I knew I wanted to do my Erasmus semester abroad – still didn’t know…


10 mars, 2022, 11:02 International, Lämna en kommentar

Every year Örebro student union gives out an award to two teachers who have stood out for their excellent teaching….

Meet the new exchange students

25 augusti, 2021, 11:48 International, Lämna en kommentar

Currently at Örebro University new exchange students are arriving. This semester the university is welcoming around 150 exchange students. Lösnummer…

Debate article: DokSek – A forgotten student section to the university

21 april, 2020, 15:16 Debatt, Föreningsliv, International, Örebro studentkår, Lämna en kommentar

The following text is a debate article. The opinions voiced is belonging to the respective authors, not Lösnummer. Lösnummer is independent…

Why it is important to write letters to your family and friends – Advice for exchange students

11 mars, 2020, 11:51 International, Krönika, Lämna en kommentar

When you read the title of this article, you might have thought “Is she crazy? We are in 2020, no…

Christmas time in Sweden – seen by an exchange student

12 december, 2019, 11:54 International, Kultur, Recension Lämna en kommentar

When I applied for my year abroad in Sweden, one of the things that I was really looking forward was…

A quick guide of second-hand shops in Örebro

18 november, 2019, 12:47 International, Studentekonomi, Trend Lämna en kommentar

As a thrifting fan, I was amazed of the number of second-hand shops in Örebro – and Sweden in general….

Webb-TV: Time to Go!

13 november, 2019, 11:15 Evenemang, International, Universitetet Lämna en kommentar

About two weeks ago did the International office of Örebro University host an event at Kårhuset. This event was called…

Orientation Program Autumn 2019: ”Those four weeks were freaking amazing”

11 november, 2019, 11:18 International, Örebro studentkår, Universitetet Lämna en kommentar

Maybe you heard about the Orientation Program (OP) before. Before I start, let me just say, that those four weeks…