Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas = God Jul in Swedish

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2010.

Thanks to Nenyaki on Flickr for this Swedish Christmas Julbok

The Jule goat or Julboken is one of the oldest Scandinavian traditional Christmas symbols and is now typically fashioned out of straw. Wikipedia mentions that the Yule or Christmas Goat originally denoted the goat that was slaughtered as part of the holiday festivities. In Scandinavia, people thought of the Yule Goat as an invisible creature that would appear some time before Christmas to make sure that preparations were completed correctly. During the 19th century its role shifted towards becoming the giver of Christmas gifts, in Finland as well as the rest of Scandinavia, with one of the men in the family dressing up as the Yule Goat. The goat was replaced by jultomte or julenisse (Christmas Elf/Father Christmas/Santa Claus) at the end of the century, and the tradition of the man-sized goat disappeared.

Swedish gingerbread cutout cookies are a holiday favorite of mine.


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