Welcome to the Watching the Swedes (WtS) Advent Calendar. Every day, I will open a window containing a Swedish word that has something to do with Christmas and the festive season.
Today’s word is ‘Julkalendern‘ which translates as ‘Christmas Calendar’
Julkalendern is a television series broadcast on Swedish TV every day in December leading up to Christmas Eve. It is a popular and heavily-anticipated program that children and adults traditionally watch at 7.15 in the morning (or on line). Typically each episode is 15 minutes long, and every year there is a new story.
The first Julkalendern was broadcast in 1960 and was called ‘Titteliture’. In 2016, a competition was held to vote for the all-time favourite Julkalendern. It was won by a series called ‘Sune’s Christmas’ (1991) followed by ‘The Mystery at Greveholm’ (1996), ‘Time of the Trolls’ (1979) and ‘The old woman who shrunk to the size of a teaspoon’ (1967).
This year, the series is called ‘Panic in Santa’s workshop’ and stars many popular Swedish actors. And according to the latest statistics, it has already broken the viewing records of previous years. It has caused some controversy, which is not unusual, with parents complaining about the suitability of the content for children.
But controversy and complaints aside, Julkalendern endures as a self-evident and undeniable part of the Swedish lead up to Christmas.
See the program here.