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Swedish Christmas traditions: SVT’s julkalender

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Since 1960, you can watch a special TV series broadcasted on the Swedish television channel SVT every year during the advent. SVT’s julkalender or Christmas calendar as the series is called, offers a different story every year. On the SVT website you can also view all episodes of previous years.


The advent calendar began as part of another program, but it is now a complete program on its own that is very popular with children. An episode of SVT’s Christmas calendar takes about a quarter of an hour. The first series in 1960 was Titteliture. Some years are even released on DVD. SVT’s Christmas calendar is something that is very popular. The Swedes look forward to the announcement of the title and the cast for the coming year. For 2021 that will be ‘En hederlig jul med Knyckertz‘.

The broadcasts start on December 1 and run until December 24, one episode every day. Each episode lasts for about 15 minutes. In Sweden you can also buy a paper advents calendar, linked to the TV series, where you can open a hatch every day.

Viewer audiences of 2 millions and more are no exception (with only 10 million Swedes, that’s really a lot), mostly children but secretly, adults are watching it too. It’s nostalgia, and Swedes like their Christmas traditions. SVT’s Christmas calendar is not the only thing around Christmas that gets half of the families in Sweden in front of the television. Their Christmas Eve each year begins with Kalle Anka.

Julkalendern on the radio

In addition to the TV series, there is also an Advent calendar on Swedish radio every year. You can listen to it here.

Here you learn more about Swedish Christmas traditions.

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SVT's Julkalender 
7 November 2021

Book review: Villa Volvo Vovve

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Boekenreview Villa Volvo Vovve

Anyone who is interested in Sweden and the Swedish language, who has plans to emigrate to Sweden or who has already emigrated and wants to integrate better, should get the book Villa Volvo Vovve! It’s a ‘glossary’ from The Local (a Swedish news service for expats) that will make your life more Swedish. The book starts with ‘A’ (which can be pronounced in many different ways and always has a different meaning) and ends with ‘Ö’ (Swedish for island) and goes over a lot of typical Swedish concepts. You will not only expand your vocabulary but also learn a lot about typical Swedish customs and traditions.

Villa, car and dog

You get some explanation around each word in the book. Sometimes this is a historical story. Often there are also language tips and some example sentences. In the book you will also find so-called ‘False friends’. Words that look alike but just mean something different.

The book Villa Volvo Vovve is on my coffee table and I often took it by the hand in between to read a few pieces. So I didn’t read it from front to back but read the parts that caught my eye. I discovered something new every time.

Boek Villa Volvo Vovve


Some words will not sound unfamiliar to you if you already have a little knowledge of Swedish and Sweden: fredagsmys, fika, hej, helg, husmanskost,… but I had never heard of spissflabbad and åsiktskorridor either 🙂

In short, I thought it was a very nice book that I will certainly look into from time to time. An absolute must for Sweden fans who want to know a little more than the obvious.

Buy the book Villa Volvo Vovve

Boek Villa Volvo Vovve

The book Villa Volvo Vovve was released on October 28, 2021. You can order the book here. Seems like an ideal Christmas gift for a Sweden lover!

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Book review villa volvo vovve
31 October 2021

No bad weather, only bad clothes

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Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder.

Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder. In Sweden you hear this all the time. It really just means that there isn’t really bad weather, just bad clothes. In other words, if you wear the right clothes, you won’t be bothered by the weather.

Rain, wind,… it is no reason for the Swedes not to go outside. Rain is no reaseon to complain. Swedes have been spending a lot of time outside from an early age. You see, especially in the autumn and winter, children playing outside in rain suits/ski suits. This way they don’t get cold (and a little mud isn’t a problem) and they can still enjoy themselves to the fullest. Adults also have good (read: warm and waterproof) clothing in their closet. Outdoor trousers are a standard part of the wardrobe. And the trick of dressing in layers is also well known.

Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder.

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Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder.
16 July 2021