Christmas at Skansen 2018 – it’ll soon be here!

By on August 25, 2018
Maria Johansson/Skansen

It is difficult to imagine making preparations for Christmas while this hot and sunny summer continues, but that is exactly what we are doing. Come December, there will be the usual Christmas cheer, Christmas markets and festive fun at Skansen.

Experience an old-fashioned Christmas
We will be celebrating Christmas at Skansen from 24 November to 6 January. Christmas will be celebrated in the houses and farms, Christmas dinner will be laid out, and festive treats will be baking in some kitchens. Here we explain how Christmas was celebrated in towns and in the countryside from the 1840s onward.
Christmas will be celebrated at the Printer’s Home as it was in the 1840s and in the Ironmonger’s Apartment as it was in the 1930s. There will also be traditional Christmas celebrations at the Delsbo Farmstead from Hälsingland (1850), the Oktorp Farmstead from Halland (1870), the Post Office from Småland (1910), the simple Farm Labourer’s Cottage (1920s), and Väla School (around 1900).

Christmas market
Skansen’s Christmas market is an unbroken tradition dating back to 1903. The Town Quarter, en route to the Christmas market, comes into its own during the Christmas market weekends. Here Skansen’s craftsmen and women are hard at work in their workshops. The market itself exudes a wonderful Christmas atmosphere, with Christmas decorations, straw ornaments and other classic handicraft for sale. The Christmas market is made up of over 70 different market stalls, all selling high-quality products. There are also stalls selling freshly prepared food to enjoy, including traditional pork pancakes, venison burgers, doughnuts and other delicious treats. Wandering choirs bring music and song to Skansen, and next to the Christmas market you can dance around the tree on the dance floor. There will be a Christmas market on 24-25 November, 1-2 December, 8-9 December and 15-16 December between 10.00 and 16.00.

Christmas crafts
With colourful paper, straw, scissors, glue and their imagination to hand, children of all ages can make traditional paper heart decorations, sweets, cones for the sweets, and other decorative items. Until 21 December, you can also try your hand at candle-making. The craft workshop is open on the same weekends as the Christmas market and during the holidays from 22 December to 7 January.

Lucia is celebrated both on St. Lucia’s Day on 13 December and during the weekend of 15-16 December. On 13, 15 and 16 December, Lucia will be celebrated as it was in the 1940s at the Brage Hall, and with a traditional Lucia concert at Seglora Church. Also on the weekend of 15-16 December, there will be a 1920s-inspired Lucia celebration at the Temperance Hall, and on Saturday 15 December, Skansen’s very own Lucia will make an atmospheric appearance on the Solliden stage.

Christmas Eve
Christmas peace will reign at Skansen on Christmas Eve. Seglora Church will be open from 10.00 until 14.00, as will Restauration Gubbhyllan, Café Nyloftet, various food stalls and the Smokehouse. The shops in the Lodge and at Lill-Skansen will be open from 10.00 to 14.00. Skansen Aquarium will be open (separate entry) from 10.00 to 15.00, and pony rides will be available at Bredablick between 11.00 and 13.00.

Christmas Day service
Christmas Day at Skansen begins at 07.00 with an early morning service. The path to Seglora Church will be lit by hundreds of outdoor candles and the spirit of Christmas will fill the church itself. Christmas coffee will be served after the service at Restauration Gubbhyllan.

New Year at Skansen
The stroke of midnight will be greeted with music and performances on the Solliden stage and with a recital of the classic Lord Tennyson poem Ring Out, Wild Bells. Since 2015 the poem has been recited by a different person each year; in 2015 it was Malena Ernman, in 2016 the actress Pernilla August, and in 2017 Krister Henriksson. 31 December, 12.10 to 00.10.

Say goodbye to Christmas
Christmas comes to an end at Skansen on 6 January. The Christmas orchestra Julorkester and Ayla Kabaca invite you to join them for music and dancing around the Christmas tree. At Bollnäs Square there will be a lucky dip fish pond, candy floss, candied almonds and other festive fun. The open fire will be lit for cooking hot dogs, and the Tavern and the Waffle Stand on Market Street (Marknadsgatan) will be open selling hot dogs, pies, mulled wine and other hot drinks, as well as waffles, of course. This is also the final day for traditional Christmas celebrations in our houses and farms and for Christmas crafts at the Forestry Centre. We say goodbye to Christmas with dancing on 6 January 2019.

Helena Olofsson, Culture & Music | Stockholm