Four Delicious and Delightful Swedish Traditions
Visit Sweden! It is a country that is proud of its rich traditions – and rightfully so! Visitors can partake in many popular Swedish traditions all throughout the year, partly because these traditions are easily accessible for all and encourage participation.
From crayfish parties to popular holiday celebrations and the “freedom to roam,” Sweden has a wealth of traditions to experience and enjoy. Here are just a few:
A smorgasbord is a very traditional Swedish meal, served buffet-style, with a large number of delicious hot and cold dishes available for people to take as much of as they like. With the emphasis on seasonal ingredients, fishes, and vegetable dishes such as potatoes and stewed cabbage with beetroot salads, topped off by rice pudding and other sweets, the smorgasbord is an essential, and delicious, element of Swedish celebrations of all kinds.
2. Crayfish parties
Known as kräftskiva in Sweden, crayfish parties are traditional eating and drinking parties that take place in the summer, traditionally in the month of August, but more recently through mid-to-late summer in general. At crayfish parties (which take place outdoors), Swedes eat crayfish, drink snaps and other alcoholic beverages, and sing drinking songs called snapsvisa. Bread, mushroom pies, salads and various cheeses are served along with the crayfish, which are boiled in salt water and served cold.
3. Midsummer and Yule (Christmas) celebrations
The summers are short and the winters are long in Sweden. That’s why Midsummer and Yule (or Christmas) celebrations, which mark the longest days of summer and the last, darkest night of winter, are so important in Swedish culture. On Midsummer, people celebrate by dancing traditional ring dances around a maypole. Christmastime sees Lucia processions and tasty feasts with traditional food and drinks.
4. The “right to roam” in the great outdoors
It’s not all about drinking, eating, and dancing, though. Swedes traditionally worked hard as farmers and woodsmen in the great outdoors. They also relaxed there, and still today camping, hiking, and spending time in nature is a beloved pastime. Sweden’s many beautiful lakes, mountains, and nature trails provide visitors with thousands of opportunities to relax at the heart of nature. And best thing about it? It’s all free and enshrined in law by the “Allemannsrett,” or “freedom to roam,” which allows anyone to camp almost anywhere, including private property, for a night for free and undisturbed. So go explore some of Sweden’s stupendous nature, such as the Kungsleden hiking trail or Tyresta national park.
Of course, this is nowhere near all of Sweden’s popular traditions, but it’s a start. You can experience all that and more when you visit Sweden with us!
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