Advent Calendar – Dec 9: Julbelysning

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 ‘Julbelysning‘ which translates as ‘Christmas lights’.

Like others around the world, Sweden’s cities and towns install public Christmas lights this time of the year. These decorations illuminate the dark December days and are an important part of building up the Christmas cheer at an otherwise miserable time of the year.

Currently Stockholm is populated with twinkling elk, reindeer, pine cones, angels, stars and fir trees. The same applies to Gothenburg, where there is also a giant red love heart on Lejontrappan. In Malmö, 1000,000 lights have been switched on and a festival called Vinter i City (Winter in the City) lasts for a month up to Christmas. More information on and

Since 1996, on Skeppsbron in Stockholm, the city’s largest Christmas tree has been positioned. An enormous, impressive tree that towers over the buildings of the Old Town and spreads its light over the harbour. The tree in actual fact isn’t a real tree – it is constructed over a central pole with branches attached to it. In doing so, the tree is pleasingly symmetrical.

If you’d like to walk around and see the lights in Stockholm, the city has produced a map which you can find on

This week is also Nobel week in Stockholm and a light festival called Nobel Lights is taking place. Monuments and buildings around the city are decorated and transformed with projected light shows. More information on

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