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Novent, a new Swedish Christmas trend

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Novent, smygstarta jul

Combine November and Advent and you have Novent, a new trend in Sweden that I would like to soon conquer the rest of the world! Novent means that in November you will gradually start to bring Christmas atmosphere into your home. Think of extra candles, lights,… and if you want some Christmas decorations.

November feels like the saddest month of the year. The days are getting shorter, the autumn colors are disappearing and it is still waiting for the Christmas lights in the streets. Who says we can’t enjoy the most wonderful time of the year already in november?

Smygstarta julen

I think ‘smygstarta julen‘ is one of the nicest phrases in Swedish. Sometimes you also read ‘att tjuvstarta julen‘ It means as much as secretly starting Christmas. Looking forward to something is often half the experience. Once we have switched to winter time, I want to make it extra cozy at home. I’m really counting the days till Christmas. For the Christmas fun, but also because the days after that are gradually starting to get longer.

What is novent to me?

Celebrating Novent makes the darkest, grayest month of the year just that little bit more pleasant. For me, Novent means that I light some candles more often, that I take the time to bake some more (a house that smells like pepparkakor is Christmas at its best!), that I take out my Christmas mugs,… During November I also put the Christmas playlist on and I might watch a Christmas movie. It even itches to craft some Christmas decorations! And oh, julmust is really part of it for me. Cozy Christmas without it all becoming too ‘Christmassy’.

During the holidays we often have a lot of ‘obligations’. As fun as these are, the days fly by with family visits and Christmas dinners. You wouldn’t be the first to feel ‘Christmas stress’! Nothing has to be done during novent and maybe that is why it is becoming so popular. You can just enjoy it.

The tip for a perfect novent for me is dosage. Keep it subtle. Do it little by little. Dose and don’t go jingles all the way so that, even as a Christmas fan, you’re not tired of Christmas by December 24th. For me, novent is also thinking about the Christmas menu and possibly trying something in advance, thinking about gifts and buying Christmas cards. During novent you do it because you want to, not because you have to.

The origin of ‘novent’

It was the Swedish Olsson family who invented the word novent in 2014. They counted 3 extra Sundays before the start of Advent. Week 4 of Novent is celebrated together with the beginning of Advent. It was a way for them to enjoy Christmas longer. In the meantime, novent has also been recognized as a new Swedish word.

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15 November 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

Skiing in Sweden

Skiën in Zweden

You may not immediately think of Sweden for your next ski holiday, but Sweden is a great winter sports destination. The ski areas are generally a bit quieter than the popular ski resorts in France or Austria. Moreover, many areas are snow-sure and you can easily combine it with other winter sports (cross-country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing, snowmobile trip, husky trip,…) not to mention a nice sauna after a day on the slopes and the opportunity to see the northern lights. The ski season in Sweden runs from November to April / May, depending on the ski area you choose. Below I list some options for skiing in Sweden.

Langlaufen in Zweden

Ski resorts in Sweden

Ski area Åre

The Åre ski area is arguably the most popular place to ski in Sweden. Actually, Åre includes a few different ski areas that are are connected by ski bus. You will find 91 km of slopes in Åre, both for beginners and advanced skiers. Off-piste skiing is also popular in Åre. With Gunniliften, a ski lift of no less than 1.6 km, Åre has the longest ski lift in the world. They absorb the short, dark winter days by illuminating the slopes. Åre is located in Jämtland.

Tip for the overnight stay: Holiday Club Åre

Skiing in Sälen

Sälen in Dalarna is probably the largest ski area in Scandinavia with 116 km of slopes. It is close to the Norwegian border, about 4 hours from Oslo. Sälen consists of the ski areas of Lindvallen, Högfjället, Tandådalen, Hundfjälllet and Kläppen. Like most ski areas in Sweden, Sälen is extremely family-friendly. Advanced skiers will love the many black runs in Tandådalen.

Skiing above the Arctic Circle

Dundret is located near Gällivare, about 100 km above the Arctic Circle. Here Sweden offers the opportunity to ski as early as October. The slopes are lit so that the polar night is not an obstacle. The ski area is quite limited, but there is a lot to do in the area. Maybe not the spot for those who want to ski all week, but fun for those who want to spend a few days on the skis during their holiday in Swedish Lapland.

Skiing on the more than 20 km of slopes at Riksgränsen is only possible after February, when the days are longer again. You can count on a lot of good snow and this even until June. Riksgränsen is a perfect ski area for those who like to go off piste. You can also go helicopter skiing here.

Good to know: how much daylight is there in Sweden in winter?

Skiing in Stockholm

Stockholm is not immediately the snowiest destination in Sweden (check Does it snow in Stockholm?) and yet you can ski there for most of the winter. International competitions are even held on the slopes at Hammarbybacken.

Skiën in Zweden: Hammarbybacken

There is a snow park, a green, a blue, a red and even a black slope. The slopes are good for barely 2 km, but skiing in Sweden with a view over Stockholm is a must try.

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23 January 2021