The Swedes have a lot of traditions, especially when it comes to Jul or Christmas. The most important day of Christmas for them is Julafton or Christmas Eve. On December the 24th, everyone is at home. The preparations for the Christmas buffet or julbord start early. While we in Belgium only start around dinertime, in Sweden they are starting the early afternoon, some families even in the morning.
Since 1959, half of Sweden is sitting in front of the television on December the 24th at 15h. Each year a different host or hostess is the julvärd and has the honor to welcome the Swedes and light a candle as a symbol for the real start of Christmas Eve. This is something big! Weeks in advance, the julvärd is announced and everyone seems to have an opinion on the choice of SVT.
The julvärd (this year this is Sanna Nielsen who also hosts Allsång på Skansen during the summer months and also represented Sweden at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Undo’) announces Kalle Anka or Donald Duck on Christmas Eve as well.
Yes, every Christmas Eve at 15h Sweden gets completely silent. The whole family gathers in front of the television and watches Kalle Anka or Donald Duck on Christmas Eve. Walt Disney Presents Christmas special “From All of Us to All of You” or “Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul” is serious business in Sweden. None of the family even thinks missing the moment. Young and old know the text by heart and yet everyone still laughing with the jokes.
Kalle Anka is consistently in the top 5 of most watched programs of the year. Usually, in second place, after Melodifestivalen. In the past SVT, the Swedish Television, considered a few times to cancel Kalle Anka on Christmas Eve, but they always came back to their decision after protests from all over the country. The cartoons have been the same since 1959. Only the fillers are sometimes adjusted.
If you want to watch Kalle Anka from outside of Sweden, I will have to dissappoint you. The program is not available through SVTplay from abroad. In Belgium we will have to do with The Sound of Music on Christmas.
After Kalle Anka, Santa pops up at the door in most families. Most children didn’t notice that their uncle just before “had to buy a newspaper” 😉
Credits: Miriam Preis/imagebank.sweden.se
God jul, kära läsare!