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Christmas in Sweden

God Jul!!

I have travelled to over 10 countries and visited the five continents of the world in these past days. My Swedish Christmas was an integration of cultures from various parts of the world; an experience I would forever relish!

Being the first time I spend this festive period away from family and in a new environment, my Christmas experience certainly surpassed all I expected it to be. In Sweden, Christmas is the main family event of the year. So, it was not surprising that most people took the time to travel and spend time with family. Prior to me giving details of my Christmas celebration in Stockholm, here are two Swedish facts that you should know:

  • “Merry Christmas” in Swedish – “God Jul!”
  • The main day for the Christmas celebration is on 24th December, which is known as Julafton.
  • Swedish Christmas decorations. From Lucia day,  candle lights are seen everywhere and you can’t miss the gingerbread houses:)

FOOD!FOOD!!FOOD!!!

Since Christmas is a time to bond with family and friends, what better way to have that than with Christmass food. So, in my apartment, we organised a Christmas dinner. The beautiful thing about our Christmas dinner was the concept and all that I got the opportunity to learn. So, we all had to cook food from our various countries; I got a taste of India, Russia, Ethiopia, China and America and I introduced them to the one and only- Nigerian Jollof Rice. As a Nigerian, there is this joke that says “any party without jollof rice is a meeting”. So, you can tell the significance of the jollof rice. The dinner was also an eye-opener to the various ways the different countries celebrate Christmas and sure we shared various tales from our countries. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of my “around the world in 2 days”

In the order presented; L-R: India, Russia, Nigeria, Chinese, Ethiopia
Cookies from Chicago! They may not look so great here because everyone was caught up with how good they tasted that I almost forgot to take a picture. These cookies were rated as the one of the best ever by everyone!! Guess who is looking forward to learning how to make them;)
Yifru introducing “injera” (Ethiopian cuisine) to everyone. Yeah, we all had to explain the food we cooked and maybe some history or some story behind the choice:)

With the smiles on their faces, this might have been an introduction to jollof rice! loool!

Then, I went for a get together organised by a different group and this time, it was strictly a Swedish Christmas buffet. From the next set of pictures, you can tell I enjoyed every part of it. Learnt new things about the Swedish culture. There were games for everyone to participate in and children received gifts after the dinner. It was during this get-together that I got to learn that Julafton is the main day in which Christmas is celebrated in Sweden and I am glad I got to experience this in the Swedish traditional way.

At the beginning of this post, I mentioned I visited ten countries, seeing I have listed five so far, my Christmas celebration won’t be complete without this last Christmas dinner. In this dinner, not only did I learn about the food culture in Thailand, Pakistan, Spain, India, Azerbaijan, Russia and Lebanon, I also got to learn some dance steps from these various countries. The night ended with so much fun and laughter. Thanks, Ja for the invite!

 

You know how videos tell the stories better:)

You can tell that my first Swedish Christmas was a wonderful one!! Seeing how long this post turned out to be (haha!)

My next post gives you details of what happens in Sweden after Christmas day:) Subscribe to the blog so as not to miss any bit of this adventure;)