Swedish word of the day: annandag jul

Catherine Edwards
Catherine Edwards - [email protected]
Swedish word of the day: annandag jul
Annandag jul follows julafton and juldagen. Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

On the second day of Christmas, The Local gave to you, the story behind the Swedish word for Boxing Day.


December 26th has a curious set of names around the world. In English, it is known as Boxing Day. In Swedish, the name makes a lot more sense: annandag jul, which literally means "the second day of Christmas".

The day is also known as den helige Stefanos dag (St Stephen's Day) and Stefanidagen in Swedish-speaking Finland, in honour of a saint believed to have been stoned to death on this day. But in secular Sweden you're much more likely to hear the term annandag jul in general conversation.

December 26th is a red day or public holiday in Sweden. And several centuries ago, December 27th was sometimes called tredjedag jul or "the third day of Christmas" and was also a day off for many years. That was the case from 1772 until Gustav III abolished the extra holiday, but the name tredjedag jul is still used by some.


There aren't many traditions specifically tied to annandag jul. As well as spending time with family, it's also become known for sporting events such as Annandagsbandy (Boxing Day bandy), a set of bandy matches that take place every year on the date, although for a long time the Swedish Church criticised this custom.

Example sentences:

Vi ska besöka min frus familj på annandag jul

We're going to visit my wife's family on December 26th

Annandag jul är en dag för familjen och sport

Boxing Day is a day for family and sport

Don’t miss any of our Swedish words and expressions of the day by downloading The Local's new app (available on Apple and Android) and then selecting the Swedish Word of the Day in your Notification options via the User button.


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