A voice for newcomers in Sweden

#SwedishChristmas: The festive feast that has stood the test of time

A julbord contains a mix of savoury and sweet foods, with a lot of fish. Photo: Henrik Holmberg / TT

Published: 11.Dec.2018 06:59 hrs

With its Viking roots, the julbord is a Swedish tradition with true staying power.

This article is available to Members of The Local. Read more articles for Members here.

The julbord, which literally translates to 'Christmas table', is a Scandinavian tradition with historical roots going all the way back to the time of the Vikings. As Christianity spread through the Nordic countries, the Viking mid-winter feast was reinterpreted as a part of the celebration of Christmas, but it wasn’t until the 1800s that the julbord as we know it today began to emerge.

While the modern julbord is as likely to be enjoyed at a restaurant as in a private home, it hasn’t always been that way. The early julbord was primarily a family event, hosted on or around Julafton (Christmas Eve). Accordingly, 19th century Swedish newspapers are filled with advertisements for caterers and confectioners offering their products and services to hosts. Many of the items common at a modern julbord, such as sweets like pepparkakor and savouries like julbullar (Christmas meatballs), were on offer as established julbord favourites by the mid-1800s.

Read full article on The Local

More Stories

Anas Awad with his "Swedish family" told his story to The Local Voices

Sharing the best of The Local Voices

We told a lot of great stories in 2016. Did you get to read and share them all? READ
Police in Malmö and Lund have warned people to be wary after a record number of frauds using counterfeit 500 and 200 kronor notes. READ
Arrive in Sweden: check. Find an apartment: check. Start your new job: check. Get sick with the flu: ... check. READ
The remains of what is believed to be a person who died in the 17th century have been found in a building in Kalmar. READ
Photo: Erik Gerhardsson

'History will record how everyone reacted to the Syrian tragedy'

Erik, a 21-year-old Swedish volunteer, reflects on his experience helping refugees in Sweden and abroad. READ
Sweden just had its coldest night of this winter, so if you were particularly reluctant to get out from under your duvet this morning you may have been on to something. READ
There are some new faces as well as experienced ministers taking on new roles. READ
Meet new friends and beat the January blues at The Local's first event of 2019. READ

This Iranian teaches Swedish online to 10,000 followers

"I’m exporting Swedish to my homeland." READ