Ten historic pictures of Sweden at Christmas

The Local
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Ten historic pictures of Sweden at Christmas

With the big day just around the corner, The Local rounds up some of the best Swedish Christmas pictures over the last 100 years.


1. Old yet familiar?

This picture of Christmas celebrations at a Swedish house in 1910 is over 100 years old. The clothing is pretty unusual by today's standards, but the tree itself isn't too different.

Photo: Scanpix/Bertil Norberg/TT

2. Mulling things over

This image captures Swedish soldiers pausing to drink some glögg (mulled wine) during a turbulent time in the world, December 1939.

Photo: Scanpix Sweden

3. A more fortunate Christmas goat

These days, Sweden's fondness of displaying a straw Christmas goat (julbock) is known the world over thanks to the unfortunate tradition of burning a giant one down in Gävle virtually every year.


The goat in this picture, from Christmas Eve 1940, appears to have an easier life however.

Photo: Scanpix


4. Visiting Santa

In this picture from 1941, a Swedish kid visits Santa at a Stockholm institution, department store Nordiska Kompaniet (NK). The Stockholm branch still attracts bags of tourists and Swedes at Christmas time as they stop to look at its famed festive window displays.

Photo: TT

5. One big tree

Coming across a nice Christmas tree with some lights can make a big difference in the cold Swedish winter, as this image from outside Stockholm's Central Station in 1950 shows.

Photo: Scanpix Sweden

6. Travelling home for Christmas

This shot from 1960 captures a delighted Swedish kid receiving gifts from Santa as he steps off the train in Gällivare on Christmas Eve. 

Photo: TT

7. An alternative Christmas in 68

1968 was a time of political protest across the world, and Sweden was no exception, as this image of students at Konstfack art school in Stockholm shows.

They invited homeless people and addicts to celebrate an "alternative Christmas" with them at the school, and allowed them to stay in the building until January 6th.

Photo: Lennart Nygren/TT


8. Creepy Claus

The heart was no doubt in the right place, but the plastic mask being worn by Santa in this picture of Christmas Eve from 1976 hasn't dated very well.

Photo: Jan Collsiöö/TT

9. A meaty meal

Incredibly, this Swedish Christmas meal (julbord) complete with pig's head is from 1990. Though increasingly rare, the tradition can still be found today, as we detailed here.

Photo: Scanpix Sweden


10. A royal occasion

This image from 1991 shows the Swedish Royal Family celebrating Christmas in their younger days. Prince Carl Philip looks pretty excited by the food.

Photo: Scanpix Sweden


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