TOP 15 Most Popular Holidays in Sweden
1. New Year's day
New Year's Day is a public holiday in Sweden and falls exactly one week after the Christmas Day of the previous year. New Year's Day is a public holiday in all countries that observe the Gregorian calendar, with the exception of Israel. This makes it the world's most widely observed public holiday.
Countries that still use the Julian Calendar observe New Year's Day on January 14th. It is traditionally celebrated with firework displays across the globe at 00:00 in the local time zones. New Year's Day 2021 is on Friday, Jan 1, 2021.
Though overshadowed by falling so soon after Christmas, Epiphany is one of the three major Christian celebrations along with Christmas and Easter. Epiphany is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.
It is always celebrated on January 6th and commemorates the presentation of the infant Jesus to the Magi or the three wise men. In 2021, Epiphany will be celebrated on Wednesday, Jan 6.
3. Good Friday
Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday and Great Friday.
The most important events in Christianity is celebrated on Friday, Apr 2 next year.
Two-thirds of Sweden’s population are official members of the Church of Sweden. Yet, this is a decline from earlier times when 95 percent were members, and only two percent attend services regularly. Mostly, the church is attended for special occasions, such as weddings, funerals, and Christenings. Some also opt to attend church for holy days like Easter, but Easter has taken on a much more secular appearance in Sweden in recent decades.
5. Labor day
Many of the ceremonies that have emerged in Sweden on this day stem from the centuries-old, traditional May Day celebrations related to the celebration of spring and the rebirth taking place in nature.
In the modern era, the first of May has been celebrated in several ways since the 19th century. In the early part of the 19th century, it was a huge and popular festival hosted in Djurgarden Park that featured a royal procession. However, by the end of the 19th century, it turned more into a rally of industrial workers.
6. Ascension Day
Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven 39 days after the resurrection on Easter Sunday. It may also be known as The Feast of the Ascension, The Ascension of Jesus, Ascension Thursday, or Holy Thursday.
Next year, Ascension Day will be celebrated on Thursday, May 13.
7. National Day
National Day, formerly called “Swedish Flag Day”, is a patriotic holiday in Sweden that is celebrated annually on 6 June with a public holiday.
The tradition of celebrating 6 June as Flag Day began in the 1890s when Artur Hazelius held such celebrations at his Stockholm-based open-air museum named “Skansen.” In 1916, the tradition gained yet more steam when it was honored at the Stockholm Olympics.
In 1983, the name was changed to “National Day” by the Swedish parliament, and in 2004, it was finally voted an official public holiday.
Swedes love all holidays of the year, but as much as they love summer the favorite holiday is midsummer. In Sweden, Midsummer Day is celebrated during a weekend between June 20 and 26. Its origins are in the celebration of the summer solstice. The holiday is also known as St John's Day since the Christian Church started celebrating the birth of St John year 300.
Although today, the holiday is more known to celebrate the longest day with the sun up, it only sets for 1-2 hours and in the north of Sweden, it doesn’t set at all. Since Scandinavia has its long and cold winters, this sunny time means celebration!
10. All Saints Day
All Saints Day in Sweden is a national holiday that has both religious and traditional significance. While the date of this holiday is 1 November on the church calendar, Sweden observes All Saints Day on the First Saturday in November.
On All Saints Day, nearly everyone visits the cemetery and places a lit candle on the grave of their loved ones. Often perched in the snow, these candles give the cemetery a beautiful appearance. Most people also celebrate the day by attending church and having a large meal with their families.
Christmas time in Sweden is known as “Jul,” and Sweden has many unique customs associated with the season. Christmas is celebrated with two public holidays on 25 and 26 December each year. In Sweden, Jul begins on 1 December and continues until 13 January with Saint Knut’s Day. The main event of Swedish Jul is Christmas Eve, which is the time when the festive meal is eaten and Christmas presents exchanged.
The tradition of a mid-winter time of merry-making and of the term “Jul” itself seems to pre-date Christian times in Sweden. It once involved sacrifices to Norse pagan gods and a feast marking the winter solstice
12. Victoria Day
Victoria Day (Swedish: Victoriadagen) is an annual celebration in Sweden to celebrate Crown Princess Victoria's birthday. It is celebrated annually on the princess's birthday, 14 July; for milestone birthdays the celebrations may be held over multiple days. This birthday tradition started in 1979, with Crown Princess Victoria's 2nd birthday.
The Victoria Day celebrations usually take place on the island of Öland, where the Swedish Royal family spends their summer holiday. The day often begins at Solliden Palace, where the Crown Princess Family, King & Queen greet waiting for crowds. The crowds sing "Happy Birthday to You" to Victoria, followed by cheers lead by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. The Royal Family then do a walkabout. Each year a concert is held, with performances from famous artists. The concert is attended by the Royal Family and broadcast on TV.
Pentecost is a Christian holiday that is often referred to as Whit Sunday. It is held to remember when the Apostles and disciples were visited by the Holy Spirit and given the ability to spread their message to the world. In Sweden, Pentecost is generally celebrated starting on Saturday night. On that evening, a large meal is served in the home and families gather together to enjoy each other’s company.
On Pentecost, it is traditional to dress in red and attend church services in the morning. The red represents the flame of the Holy Spirit, and even the churches will be decorated in red on this day. After services, it is traditional to go out picnicking with the family. Pentecost often coincides with the beginning of warmer weather in Sweden; so many people celebrate this holiday outdoors.
Halloween is an annual observance every 31 October in Sweden. It is not an official holiday, but it is a fun festive event just before the more serious All Saints and All Souls Days at the start of November. Though it has modern roots in American popular culture, Halloween’s true origins are in centuries-old Celtic and Christian traditions.
Kids and teenagers now dress up in ghostly garb and haunt the streets, lanterns in hand, on this dark October night. By 31 October, the dark part of the year is already hastening on in Sweden, which adds to the “aura” of the holiday.
15. New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is December 31st, the last day of the year, in the Gregorian calendar. Countries that still use the Julian Calendar observe New Year's Eve on 13th January. In 2021, New Year's Eve is on Friday, Dec 31.
|In Sweden, New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with families or with friends. A few hours before and after midnight, people usually party and eat a special dinner, often three courses. New Year's Eve is celebrated with large fireworks displays throughout the country, especially in the cities. People over the age of 18 are allowed to buy fireworks, which are sold by local stores or by private people. While watching or lighting fireworks at midnight, people usually drink champagne.|
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