Magical Christmas at Liseberg

This year’s ice show, Hansel and Gretel offers first class figure skating.

This year’s ice show, Hansel and Gretel offers first class figure skating.

 

There we were, outside the main entrance on a bitterly cold afternoon, waiting for the doors to this year’s Christmas at Liseberg to swing open. Some were jumping up and down to keep their toes warm, and I’m sure many were wishing they had a cup of warm Glögg* and a ginger snap in their hand. It may be wrong to claim that Christmas has arrived in November, but on the first day of Christmas at Liseberg it’s difficult to deny.

 

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White Guide coffee shops in Gothenburg and West Sweden

According to the criteria of the White Guide, whether a visit to a coffee shop is enjoyable depends on the quality of the drinks, bakery items on offer (including sandwiches), service, as well as the setting and ambience. No less than 51 coffee shops in Gothenburg and West Sweden are included in the White Guide 2014. Would you like to know which ones? Below is a small sample – all are definitely worth a visit!

 

kollage 00 kopia

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In West Sweden Christmas is celebrated on piers, in castles and at Santa Land

Pickled herring and schnaps. Photo: Göran Assner5

Pickled herring and schnaps are necessities on the Swedish Christmas table.

In the different parts of West Sweden, Christmas is celebrated in castles and cottages, in boathouses by the sea, or among tall trees in the snow-covered wilderness. And in all these settings, in the counties of Bohuslän, Dalsland and Västergötland, well-stocked Christmas Buffets are on offer. Try some local food traditions, customs and legends – it will give your Christmas celebrations a touch of West Sweden. Continue reading…

Cruise among the gems of Bohuslän

Cruising in Fiskebäckskil

Cruising in Fiskebäckskil

Did you know that there are 8,000 islands along the coast of Bohuslän? The best way to explore them is by boat or kayak. I must admit that Bohuslän has a very special place in my heart. To me Bohuslän is smooth, pink granite rocks, picturesque fishing villages where red boathouses jostle for place with beautiful white wooden homes, an invigorating salty sea breeze, fresh shellfish and a varied natural landscape. Join me on a cruise through the archipelago!

Every time I visit Bohuslän, I immediately experience a sense of calm. Although I have been to Bohuslän many times, I’m swept off my feet every time – it’s almost like a teenage crush. Continue reading…

God Jul – Merry Christmas from West Sweden!

Sweden is a hive of activity at this time of year, with preparations being put in place for Christmas celebrations and Christmas concerts galore. However, by mid-afternoon on Christmas Eve, everything is ready and the whole country puts its feet up in front of the TV to enjoy the annual tradition of watching Disney movies!

Swedish Christmas tree decorations. Photo: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se

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Lucia − the Bearer of Light

Lucia, together with Midsummer, is one of main cultural Swedish traditions. The festivities around Lucia have been going on for 400 years and  Lucia herself is an ancient mythical figure with an long-lasting role as a bearer of light in the dark Swedish winters.

Lucia and her maidens! Photo: Cecilia Larsson/imagebank.sweden.se

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Romans, a boar’s bristle and Lord Tennyson’s poem – or why we celebrate New Year the way we do.

New Year at Billingehus

New Year at Billingehus in West Sweden

It all began in the Roman Empire – around the year 150 B.C –  as a purely administrative measure. Originally, New Year celebrations were held  around 1st  March but, as the Roman Empire grew bigger and more time was needed to plan its  military campaigns (which they aways did around New Year), the decision was made to move New Year back by two months. So this is why we celebrate New Year’s Eve on 31st December,  and the reason why our ninth month is called September, even though septem is Latin for seven.

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Christmas Magic in West Sweden

Christmas Magic at Liseberg in Gothenburg. Photo: Göran Assner/imagebank.sweden.se

Christmas is the pinnacle of the Swedish year. In late December, walking the streets in the towns and villages of Sweden is like being transported to some old-world fairy tale. Every public surface is ablaze with lights, decorated with trees and wreaths to ward off the compact midwinter darkness. Continue reading…

Light, natural and preferably safe – this is how Swedes like to decorate their homes at Christmas

It’s been said that we Swedes are a nature-loving people. This is very noticeable when we decorate our homes for Christmas.
– Many use natural features like moss, spruce, hyacinths, amaryllis, straw dolls, oranges, apples and cinnamon sticks, says Anna-Lena Wigton of the flower shop Aveny Blommor.

Photo by Hannu Sarenström

Photo by Hannu Sarenström

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The countdown to Christmas begins and Sweden shines with candle light

Moravian Stars

Moravian Stars

On Sunday, it’s the first day of Advent. The word‘advent’ comes from the Latin word for ‘arrival’ and obviously refers to the birth of Jesus, even though most children are probably more looking forward to a visit from Father Christmas! During this time, almost every window in Sweden is decorated with electric Advent Lights and Moravian Stars in order to light up the dark winter evenings. It is welcoming, cosy and festive.
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