Celebrating the special events and holidays in Sweden is great way to experience the amazing cultural opportunities of this unique Scandinavian country. Plus everyone loves a party!
To make sure we don’t miss out on any of the fun in our new home, I’ve done my best to compile a list of all the can’t-miss, family-friendly Swedish holidays and events going on in and around Stockholm imaginatively called:
Swedish Holidays & Events in 2018
🌭 Food Holidays – always great fun to celebrate, no matter where you find yourself! Look for the korv (hotdog) emoji to find holidays in Sweden either devoted to celebrating a specific food, or where food is a featured part.
⛔ Röda dagar (red days) mean closures across the country- banks, alcohol shops, schools and most businesses be closed. Often the trains don’t run as often as on a business day (no commuters). Many other businesses will either close, take half days, or be closed and also take a half day on the day before the red day. Plan accordingly!
🚸 My best effort to note days that schools in Stockholm are generally out. Expect family friendly locations to be more crowded than usual.
🇸🇪 Flag Days
📺 TV Events
Click on the month, bar, or plus sign to start:
January 1 Nyårsdagen (New Year’s Day) & Pizza Dagen (Pizza Day) (closures) 🌭⛔🚸🇸🇪
January 5 Twelfth Night (closures) ⛔🚸
January 6 Trettondedag jul (Epiphany) (closures) ⛔🚸
January 12 Marzipan Day 🌭
January 13 Tjugondedag jul (20th Day of Christmas) – time to julgransplundrin (literally, Christmas tree plundering) and toss out that Christmas tree
January 28 Nameday of King Carl XVI Gustaf, His Majesty The King of Sweden 🇸🇪
February 3 Morotskakansdag (Carrot Cake Day) and Melodifestivalen Semi-final 1 🌭📺
February 6 Sami National Day (flag day to fly the Sami flag)
February 10 Melodifestivalen (Music Festival, Sweden’s most popular TV show since 2000) Semi-final 2 📺
February 13 Fettisdagen (Shrove Tuesday / Fat Tuesday / Mardi Gras) & Semla Day (Buns filled with cream and almond paste) 🌭
February 14 Valentine’s Day 🌭
February 17 Melodifestivalen Semi-final 3 📺
February 24 Melodifestivalen Semi-final 4 📺
February 26 – March 2nd Sports Week 🚸
February 28 International Pancake Day 🌭
February 26 – March 2nd Sports Week continues 🚸
March 3 Melodifestivalen Second Chance round 📺
March 7 Punschrullens Dag 🌭
March 10 Melodifestivalen Final 📺
March 12 Nameday of the Crown Princess Victoria & Korvensdag (Hotdog Day) 🌭🇸🇪
March 14 – 15 Medeltidstockholm – Viking and medieval market in Kungsträdgården
March 25 Våffledagen (Waffle Day) 🌭
March 29 Skärtorsdag (Maundy Thursday) – This is the day the witches fly!
March 30 – April 2 Easter Weekend
March 30 Långfredagen (literally Long Friday, aka Good Friday) – the start of Easter weekend (closures) 🌭⛔🚸🇸🇪
March 31 Påskafton (literally Easter Eve) – the day Swedes tend to actually celebrate Easter (closures) 🌭⛔🚸🇸🇪
April 1 Påskdagen (Easter Day) (closures) 🌭⛔🚸🇸🇪
April 2 Annandag Påsk (second/other day of Easter) (closures) 🌭⛔🚸🇸🇪
April 2 – 6 Easter Week Break for most Stockholm schools 🚸
April 12 Lakritsdagen (salted licorice day) – Hunter enjoys these little candies, I most certainly do not! 🌭
April 20 Polkagrisdagen – a day to celebrate the delicious swirly candy sticks you might best recognize in the form of a candy cane 🌭
April 30 Valborgsmässoafton (Walpurgis Eve) – bonfires, parties, and choirs; also the Birthday of the King Carl XVI Gustaf (closures) ⛔🚸🇸🇪
May 1 Första Maj (First of May or May Day) & Labour Day / International Worker’s Day – expect parades, picnics, parties, or peaceful protests and demonstrations highlighting worker’s rights ⛔🚸🇸🇪
May 8 Eurovision Song Contest Semi-finals 1 📺
May 10 Eurovision Song Contest Semi-finals 2 and Kristi himmelsfärds dag Ascension Day (closures) ⛔🚸📺
May 11 Chokladbullar (chocolate ball day) 🌭
May 12 Eurovision Song Contest Finals 📺
May 15 Kardemummabullensdag (Cardamom bun Day) – Oh cardamom buns, I know sometimes I’ve mistaken you for your cousin the cinnamon bun based on your appearance but you’ve won your place in my heart with your subtly sunny flavor.
May 19 Pingstdagen Pentecost Eve ⛔
May 20 Whit Sunday ⛔🇸🇪
May 22 Picnic Day
May 27 Mors dag (Mother’s Day) & Muffin dagen (muffin day) 🌭
June 5–10 Smaka på Stockholm (Taste of Stockholm) – outdoor celebration of food featuring food vendors, performers, and a focus on sustainability despite hosting more than roughly 350,000 visitors a year 🌭
June 6 Sveriges Nationaldag (Sweden’s National Day) & of course Svenska Flaggansdag (Day of the Swedish Flag) – parades (closures) and Sillensdag (herring day) and Fruit Day – a very busy day indeed! 🌭⛔🚸🇸🇪
June 13 Archipelago Boat Day in Stockholm because the only thing better than a parade is a steamboat parade
June 18 International Picnic Day Look, I know it’s not even been a month since the last picnic day but when you have weather as nice as Stockholm this time of year, you take every excuse to enjoy it!
June 22–23 Midsommarafton and Midsommardagen (Midsummer’s Eve and Midsummer’s Day) – said to be a bigger event than the Swedish National Day, I’m told Midsommar is the major holiday in Sweden that cannot be missed! Expect traditional dancing, feasts, and partying as little frogs well into the morning. A movable holiday, it’s celebrated on the eve of the first Sunday after the summer solstice. (closures) 🌭⛔🚸🇸🇪
July 14 Birthday of the Crown Princess Victoria 🇸🇪
July 23 Hot Dog Day 🌭
July 31st – August 6 Classic Car Week in Rättvik, Dalarna
July 31st – August 6 Classic Car Week continues in Rättvik, Dalarna
6th–13th August Medieval Week on the historic island of Visby, Gotland
August 8 Nameday of Queen Silvia & Kräftpremiär (crawfish season begins!) 🇸🇪🌭
August 9 Rulltårtans Dag rolled cake day 🌭
August 17 Surströmmingspremiär (sour/fermented herring season begins) 🌭
August 23 Kötbullens Dag – of course there’s a day devoted to the internationally popular Swedish-style meat balls! 🌭
September 2 Ostronets dag (Oyster Day) and Bacondagen (International Bacon Day) 🌭
September 3 Svampens Dag (mushroom day) 🌭
September 17 Brunch day 🌭
September 24 – 30 Prinsesstårtans vecka (Princess cake week) 🌭
September 25 Äpplets dag (Apple Day) 🌭
September 28 Kebabens Dag (Kebab Day) 🌭
October 1 Kaffedagen (Coffee Day) As one of the top coffee consuming countries in the world, most Swedes will happily celebrate coffee day several times a day every day all year long. 🌭
October 4 Kanelbullens dag (Cinnamon Bun Day) 🌭
October 6 Gräddtårtans Dag (a day celebrating a delicious whipped cream and strawberries cake that reminds me most of the strawberry shortcake my mom would make me for my birthday based on my obsession with the cartoon character of the same name) 🌭
October 10 Grötens dag (Porridge Day) Sadly, most Americans have an aversion to the word “porridge” but will happily enjoy their oatmeal, rice pudding, or grits. So today be sure to tuck in to a humble but delicious bowl of the porridge of your choice and reacquaint yourself with some good food, ya’ll!
October 14 Räkmackans Dag (shrimp sandwich day) 🌭
October 24 UN Day 🇸🇪
October 31 Halloween in Sweden is an American import. Swedes celebrate the day with spook-tacular parties, scary costumes, and of course carving pumpkins but as for ‘trick or treating’, the Thursday before Easter is really where its at. Besides, Halloween’s really more of a pre-party for All Saint’s Day on November 3rd when Stockholm transforms into Shockholm and hosts Scandinavia’s largest “Halloween” parade.
November 2 All Saint’s Eve
November 3 Allhelgonadagen (All Saints’ Day) and the Shockholm Parade – Scandinavia’s largest Halloween parade (closures) ⛔🚸
November 6 Gustavus Adolphus Day An official excuse to eat cake? Yes please! Chocolate or marzipan silhouettes of King Gustavus Adolphus the Great adorn creamy sponge cakes- there’s definitely worse ways to be remembered. 🇸🇪 🌭
November 11 Fars dag (Father’s Day) and Kladdkaka dag (Chocolate Cake Day) 🌭
November 13 Smörgåstårt Dag Ya’ll, Sweden has created both a sandwich cake and a day to celebrate it as well. Truly, a service to the world.
November 14 Ostkakans Dag (Cheesecake Day) 🌭
November 22 Wienerbrödets Dag (Wiener Bread aka a Danish or Danish pastry Day) 🌭
December 1 Glöggens Dag Glogg is like all of your favorite Christmas memories in wine form. Sweden’s celebrated mulled wine is truly a wonderful way to mark the start of the winter season. I won’t often promote alcohol on this site for personal reasons, so when I do you know it’s got to be something really special. 🌭
December 9 Pepparkakans Dag (Gingerbread / Ginger Cookie Day) 🌭
December 10 Nobel Prize Day – Stockholm 🇸🇪
December 13 St. Lucia Day Sweden’s winter festival of light and the unofficially-official start to Sweden’s month-long Christmas season. Kids traditionally wake their parents up with breakfast in bed guest starring lussebulle – (usually) S-shaped saffron and currant buns named after the saint of the day. There’s also school pageants with traditional songs and character costumes, a parade, and so much more. It’s pretty de-light-ful, ya’ll. 🌭
December 18 Kakans dag (Cookie Day) 🌭
December 21 Skumtomtens dag A day to celebrate a beloved Swedish foam candy made especially for the Christmas season 🌭
December 23 Queen Silvia’s birthday )🇸🇪
December 24 Julafton (Christmas Eve) In Sweden presents, Santa visits, and the beloved Julbord (Christmas buffet table) are enjoyed the day before Christmas – except at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve when the entire country shuts down for arguably the most important event of the day: to watch the 1958 special “Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul” (or Donald Duck and His Friends Wish You a Merry Christmas), broadcast every year since 1959. 🌭⛔🚸
December 25 Juldagen (Christmas Day) 🌭⛔🚸🇸🇪
December 26 Annandag jul (literally second/other Christmas aka Boxing Day) (closures) ⛔🚸
December 31 Nyårsafton (New Year’s Eve)
Get yourself some sweet adventuring gear from the Shop and support GEEKBOLD. Win-win!
Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive. There’s so many awesome things to do and see that I’ve tried mainly to focus on events and holidays in Sweden that would be fun for families.
I’ll be updating it as often as I can with new discoveries and our own experiences throughout the year.
Are there holidays in Sweden you think I missed? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to check it out!